News : Ice Hockey World Cup – Germany defeats Switzerland in penalty shootout – sport
Three years after the silver sensation at the Olympics, the German national ice hockey players have the next historic coup in mind. After a brilliant comeback, the team of national coach Toni Söderholm defeated arch-rivals Switzerland 3: 2 (0: 1, 1: 1, 1: 0, 0: 0, 1: 0) after penalty shoot-out, only one victory missing from the first World Cup medal in 68 years.
Thanks to the goals of two-time Stanley Cup winner Tom Kühnhackl (38th) and defender Leon Gawanke (60th), Germany reached the penalty shootout. There Marcel Noebels ensured with his decisive hit that the selection of the German Ice Hockey Federation (DEB) repeated their success of 2010. At the home World Cup, she finished fourth after a 1-0 win against the Swiss and thus achieved the best result since silver in 1953. On Saturday the Söderholm team will fight for a place in the final. For the Swiss, who won silver at the World Cup in 2013 and 2018, Ramon Untersander (16th) and Fabrice Herzog (34th) made it 2-0 in the meantime.
Breathe a sigh of relief even before the first face-off: Top scorer Marcel Noebels got fit in time. The player of the year in the German Ice Hockey League (DEL) was injured in the hard-fought 2-1 in the preliminary round against hosts Latvia after scoring the winning goal. The doctors gave the go-ahead. Together with his Berlin club colleagues Lukas Reichel and Leo Pföderl, the 29-year-old formed the German parade series again.
Söderholm expected “a lot of speed, a lot of passion and aggressive duels” and spoke of a “great opportunity for us”. And right with that: The knockout duel, the first game for the Germans in the smaller hall in the Olympic Sports Center, began even more intensely than the preliminary round games.
Germany equalized 44 seconds before the end
The Swiss, who made the second-best offensive of the preliminary round with 27 goals and scored ten (!) Powerplay hits, initially had problems with the aggressive German fore-checking. Only with a single action by Gregory Hofmann the “Eisgenossen” came dangerously in front of Mathias Niederberger’s goal (6th). The DEB selection settled in the attack zone more often.
When the Swiss really got stuck in the German third for the first time, the puck landed immediately in the goal. Defender Untersander met the – at this point – surprising lead of the favorite. For the first time in this tournament, veteran Korbinian Holzer stood on the ice when he conceded a goal. The Swiss increased the pressure in the middle section, their NHL star Timo Meier got better. Matthias Plachta from Mannheim had to go to the penalty box for two plus ten minutes because of a gang check, only 22 seconds later Kühnhackl joined him there – and the Confederates were even able to play their dreaded superiority game with five against three. But Holzer and Co. defended self-sacrificingly.
Kühnhackl’s third tournament goal awakened new hope. The DEB selection went into the final third with additional energy, increased the pressure and forced extra time to equalize 44 seconds before the end.