It wasn’t enough. The DEB team missed a medal at the Ice Hockey World Championship after a great tournament. The US was too strong in the end.
Bronze missed: Again no medal for the German national ice hockey team at a World Cup. Because the DEB team loses 6-1 to the USA, it has to wait – now since 1953. As in the 2010 home World Cup, Germany finished fourth in Latvia.
In the tenth game in 17 days, the German selection, which had lost 2-1 to defending champions Finland 21 hours earlier in the semifinals, lost their strength – physically and mentally. Dominik Bittner from Wolfsburg scored the consolation goal (50th). Christian Wolanin (6th), Conor Garland (27th), Jack Drury (29th), Jason Robertson (32nd), Trevor Moore (33rd) and Ryan Donato (50th) sealed the biggest German World Cup defeat against the two-time world champion since 1986.
Lean World Cup record
1197 days after the Olympic final in Pyeongchang, the initially superior DEB selection again lacked efficiency in front of the opposing goal, then they let themselves be countered mercilessly and literally collapsed. Thus, despite the clear upswing of recent years, the meager World Cup balance sheet of four medals from the gray past of ice hockey: two silver (1930, 1953) and two bronze (1932, 1934).
The small final began with a shock: Four minutes of excess after a foul on Markus Eisenschmid had just ended without success when Wolanin went it alone with the US leadership. The Mannheim Felix Brückmann, who had moved into the goal for the Berlin master goalie Mathias Niederberger, had to let the first shot pass.
Every mistake was punished
As with the 0: 2 in the preliminary round, the DEB selection was the more active team with the majority of shots on goal at the beginning, but the Americans had the clearer chances. In the second section, every mistake was punished: four goals conceded in six minutes robbed the last hopes. In addition, captain Moritz Müller was injured.
The disappointment had already been huge after the end of the gold dream the day before. “We wanted to become world champions, that’s why we’re all broken now,” admitted Moritz Müller after the extremely bitter semi-final defeat. With the best tournament performance, the DEB selection had played the reigning world champion against the wall, especially in the last third, but after Matthias Plachta’s subsequent goal, the equalizer did not want to fall – despite top-class chances in the last minutes.
“There was only a bit of luck missing in the end,” said Plachta and added, referring to the strong defense of the Finns: “If you are not freezing cold, they close the shop and win by one goal.” Despite the narrow defeat, Söderholm was proud of his team. “The guys have implemented 99 percent of what was on the plan,” said the Finn, “they sacrifice themselves every day, you can only admire it.”