News : Ice Hockey World Championship – German team fails after a big fight at Finland – Sport
Three years after the silver sensation at the Olympics, the German national ice hockey team missed the next final, but still had a chance to win the first World Cup medal in 68 years. The team of national coach Toni Söderholm lost 1: 2 (0: 2, 1: 0, 0: 0) in the semifinals in Riga to the mercilessly effective defending champions Finland and will play for bronze against the USA on Sunday (2.15 p.m. / Sport1).
Mannheim’s Matthias Plachta (32nd) scored the connecting goal for the selection of the German Ice Hockey Federation (DEB), which last won precious metal in 1953. Two silver and two bronze medals have been recorded at world championships so far. Iiro Pakarinen (14th) and Hannes Björninen (19th) were successful for the three-time title holder Finland, who will meet Canada in the final on Sunday (7.15 p.m. / Sport1).
Despite a strong performance, the German team, which had already lost 2-1 to Finland in the preliminary round, failed in the round of the last four at the 2010 home World Cup. At that time, the dream of precious metals burst after the 1: 2 against Russia in the small final with 1: 3 against Sweden.
The Finns punish a bad pass coldly
“You never know when you will get this opportunity again. You just have to enjoy it,” Söderholm said before the game and promised his compatriots: “Germany will be a very unpleasant opponent for the Finns today.” His players took these words to heart and, after the favorites had waited, had their first chances to score: Defender Moritz Seider and striker Markus Eisenschmid failed to goalkeeper Jussi Olkinuora (4th) within a few seconds.
In the first semi-final since the 2010 home World Cup, the German team, tactically similar to the world champion from Söderholm from Finland, was initially the more active team. After a counterattack, the Mannheimer Eisenschmid had the opportunity to take the lead again (11th). The first successful attack by the Scandinavians turned the course of the game on its head: When Pakarinen shot, the so far strong Berlin master goalkeeper Mathias Niederberger did not cut a happy figure, the target slipped through his legs. The Finns punished another mistake with a 2-0 win. After a bad pass from the young star Lukas Reichel, Björninen was suddenly free in front of Niederberger. Shortly before, Seider had missed the big chance to equalize. “The goals were really unnecessary,” said NHL striker Dominik Kahun at Sport1, “we have to do it smarter.”
In the second power play, the DEB selection cracked the concrete of the Finnish defense: Plachta hit with a slap shot from the blue line and brought his team back into the game. With renewed energy, the German team went into the final third and constricted the Finns in their own zone at times. Jonas Müller (45.) and Marcel Noebels (53./55.) Missed the equalizer.