Even NHL top defenseman Moritz Seider and a strong performance for a long time did not save the injury-plagued national ice hockey team from defeat at the World Cup opener against Sweden. On Friday evening, the selection of the new national coach Harold Kreis lost against the eleven-time world champions unluckily 0:1 (0:0, 0:0, 0:1). A supernumerary goal by SC Bern's Oscar Lindberg (42nd minute) dashed all justified hopes of a first World Cup victory against Sweden in 31 years.
On Saturday (19:20 p.m. on Sport1 and MagentaSport), the selection of the German Ice Hockey Federation will once again be challenged. Then it's against the defending champions, once again top favorites and World Cup hosts Finland. The team around superstar Mikko Rantanen of the Stanley Cup champion Colorado Avalanche should be particularly motivated after the 1-4 opening defeat against the USA.
Research German Selection
National coach Kreis had announced a courageous German team for his World Cup debut as head coach. In fact, his selection started briskly and was initially much better than the eleven-time world champion with his eight NHL professionals. From a solid defense with NHL top defenseman Seider, Germany did much more for the offense and disturbed the Swedes again and again well in the build-up to the game.
Seider had only joined the DEB team on Monday after a few weeks off due to some injuries after the NHL main round with the Detroit Red Wings. Since then, the 22-year-old had been preparing intensively for his first World Cup appearance this year and was immediately called up by Kreis on Friday. This was also true for AHL defenseman Kai Wissmann of Providence Bruins. The 26-year-old had only arrived in Tampere on Wednesday and immediately showed a convincing game.
No goal scored even in the majority
This weekend, Leon Gawanke of the Manitoba Moose of the AHL, another North American professional, is expected to finally make the defense solid. Gawanke could then make his debut on Monday in the third World Cup match against the USA.
In attack, however, the absence of many goalscorers was noticeable. Kreis had received 15 injury-related rejections on his World Cup debut as national coach and also deliberately dispensed with some of the best German DEL goal scorers. Despite significantly more chances in the first period, no goal was scored even in the majority.
Germany, with six World Cup debutants, was at least equal to the favourites after that. However, the Swedes gradually freed themselves from the pressure and now brought more shots on goal themselves. A game of patience developed, in which the German goalkeeper Mathias Niederberger became more and more of a factor.
The champion goalie from EHC Red Bull Munich was only powerless after a penalty against the future Mannheim player Daniel Fischbuch. Outnumbered, Germany had to concede the decisive goal through a deflected shot. Germany will have to wait for their first World Cup win against Sweden since 1992.