Ice hockey: World Cup lesson for DEB team: 1:6 against Sweden

Germany received a lesson against eleven-time world champion Sweden at the Ice Hockey World Championship in the Czech Republic.

Ice hockey: World Cup lesson for DEB team: 1:6 against Sweden

Germany received a lesson against eleven-time world champion Sweden at the Ice Hockey World Championship in the Czech Republic. Coach Harold Kreis's team once again had no chance against the Swedish NHL starting squad in a 1:6 (0:3, 0:2, 1:1) loss in Ostrava, Czech Republic. Only Berlin's Leo Pföderl (48th minute) scored for last year's runner-up world champion.

"It's time for us to give up respect. It's important that we now reflect on our strengths," said Kreis at ProSieben. The USA were already at least one size too big for Germany in their 6-1 defeat on Saturday, which will meet Latvia, third in the 2023 World Cup, on Wednesday (4:20 p.m./ProSieben and MagentaSport).

“We know that the games will now be even more explosive,” said Kreis about the other preliminary round games in which his team now has to score points in order to reach the minimum goal of the quarter-finals. The DEB team won the first preliminary round game on Friday against Olympic third-placed Slovakia 6:4.

The last third gives hope

There is hope that there will be an improvement in performance against the Swedes, who competed with 16 NHL professionals, on Monday in the final third, as Germany braced itself against an impending debacle. “We now have to take this third with us into the next games,” demanded Kreis.

In addition, his team could count on NHL striker Nico Sturm again on Wednesday, who was sorely missed against the Swedes. At least there was an all-clear before the first face-off. “He is on a very, very good path,” said DEB sports director Christian Künast at MagentaSport. "I'm confident that he'll be back in action soon." Maksymilian Szuber is also still missing from the defense.

Both North American professionals had already been beaten against the USA and could only watch. Even against the next World Cup title favorite Sweden, it became clear right from the start how big the difference is between a star ensemble full of NHL professionals and a weakened German team. Pföderl was initially denied by goalkeeper Samuel Ersson from a good position. In return, star defender Erik Karlsson from the Pittsburgh Penguins drove the puck past the powerless goalkeeper Philipp Grubauer into the net to make it 0-1 (3rd).

At least one size too big for Sweden

And the German NHL keeper was left alone too often with his naive defensive behavior as the game progressed. In order to protect the German number one from conceding further goals, Kreis even took the 32-year-old Seattle Kraken keeper off the ice before the final period. In the final third, Munich's Mathias Niederberger had to score and conceded another goal from Anaheim's Isac Lundeström (52').

While the German team was able to keep up with the USA at least in some phases, the Swedes were at least one size too big despite the first appearance of NHL professional Lukas Reichel. Already in the first third, further goals conceded by Marcus Pettersson (Pittsburgh/15th) and Victor Olofsson (Buffalo/20th) documented the class difference. Carl Grundström (Los Angeles) scored 0:4 (25th). However, JJ Peterka missed the best German chance when he was free-standing (27th).

When Seattle's Andre Burakovsky conceded the fifth goal, the German defense was far too passive again (30th). “We want to see you fight,” chanted around 1,000 German fans among the 8,309 spectators in the arena. “You can’t play like that,” complained defender Tobias Fohrler. And the final third actually turned out to be more forgiving against Sweden, who were no longer quite as stormy.

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