One last pass, one last shot, but Dominik Kahun's also missed. On Saturday evening, the same images could be seen as the day before: While the opponents sang their anthem at the top of their voices afterwards, the players of the German national team stood on the ice with blank stares. After the 0-1 defeat against Sweden at the start of the 86th Ice Hockey World Championship, this time there was a 3-4 defeat against Finland.
Of course, no one had to be ashamed of this. For many observers, Finland is the most exciting ice hockey nation in the world. Although it has a population of just 5.5 million, every year it produces new top talents who win one medal after another at the World Youth Championships. And when they get to the adults after that, they just carry on like this: Most recently, the Finns reached four major finals in a row and are defending champions at both the World Cup and the Olympics.
Finland and the Catenaccio on the Ice
This is not the only reason why they are now favorites in their homeland. This is also due to their system, which is almost impossible to crack in decisive games. However, this is not really exciting, rather a kind of catenaccio on the ice. At least once the Finns lead. For the German team, it was therefore clear for this Saturday evening: Just don't fall behind early. But in the tenth minute, Joel Armia scored to make it 1-0. However, this did not seem completely untenable, which could also be seen in the reaction of goalkeeper Dustin Strahlmeier, who had been given preference over Mathias Niederberger.
Even after that, Strahlmeier could be seen struggling again after conceding a goal. But the most important news: the German team also scored goals. On Friday against Sweden, all those who miss the goal scorers in the team of national coach Harold Kreis should feel confirmed. Now against Finland finally the first goal, Marcel Noebels scored in the first period to equalize. "It's important for the minds," said captain Moritz Müller at Magentasport during the break, "we wanted to show that we can score goals."
The Germans did the same after that. Kai Wissmann even gave them the lead in the 33rd minute. And if Nico Sturm had made it 1-3 after that, who knows how the game would have gone. Sturm hit the post before Sakari Manninen turned the game around with two quick goals. But before the end of the third, JJ Peterka scored to make it 3-3.
As against Sweden, it went into the final third with a draw. And again, the German team came away empty-handed. Although captain Müller had the lead again on the racket, he hit the crossbar. Mikko Lehtonen did better, scoring just seven minutes before the end to make it 4-3 for the hosts. That's how it stayed. And the Germans realized that they had also kept up with the second top team, but again it wasn't enough. It continues on Monday (16.20 CET) against the Americans. Another top team.