Ice Hockey World Championship Final
DEB team misses the title: 2:5 against Canada
The record world champion Canada was beatable, but Germany lost the final of the Ice Hockey World Championship. As Vice World Champion, the first tournament under national coach Harold Kreis is still a success.
Olympic silver in 2018, World Cup semi-finals in 2021, vice world champion in 2023: Only record world champions Canada were happier in the end than the German cracks, who nevertheless achieved another ice hockey milestone as World Cup runners-up.
In Tampere, Germany lost the first World Cup final since 1930 against record world champions Canada 2:5 (1:1, 1:1, 0:3), but once again won the hearts of the fans.
In the end, determination, passion and goals from John-Jason Peterka (8th minute) and Daniel Fischbuch (34th) were not enough for the first world title. The team of national coach Harold Kreis was playfully better in the final for a long time, but at least travels home early on Whit Monday with silver as the first World Cup medal in 70 years, because Canada was more uncompromising in the end.
First World Cup medal in 70 years
The last time there was silver was in 1953, but at that time only four nations had played in a group phase. Canada’s NHL stars secured the world championship title for the 28th time by beating the selection of the German Ice Hockey Federation and are now again the sole record champion ahead of the currently excluded Russians. For German ice hockey, second place at the World Cup is the greatest success after silver at the 2018 Olympics.
National coach Kreis as the successor to Toni Söderholm crowned his debut as head coach. The 64-year-old native of Canada had already been there in 2010 when Germany reached the semi-finals as Uwe Krupp’s assistant. Although 15 top performers were injured and the top NHL players Leon Draisaitl, Tim Stützle and Philipp Grubauer had dropped out, the veteran coach formed a close-knit unit that was convincing in terms of fighting but also in terms of play.
Anything other than “Dirty Harry”
“Everyone loves playing for Harry. He’s just a great person with great charisma and a great character,” praised Frederik Tiffels from German champions EHC Red Bull Munich, who beat Germany 4-3 after extra time on Saturday the USA had shot into the final with his goal in overtime.
With that, the targets of the DEB – reaching the quarterfinals and direct Olympic qualification for Milan 2026 – were more than fulfilled. With the triumphal advance in Finland and Latvia, the DEB selection also inspired the public at home. Among others, Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) and Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock (Greens) sent their congratulations to the German team before the final. “I’m keeping my fingers crossed that you’ll make the ice in #Tampere tremble today and win the title,” Baerbock tweeted a few hours before the game.
However, it was not enough for the really big hit. The German team made a courageous start, did more for the game than the passive Canadians and took the lead after a nice shot from the German World Cup top scorer Peterka on Moritz Seider’s dream pass. With luck, the big favorite equalized. When Samuel Blais equalized (11th), a deflected puck ensured that the action became dangerous in the first place.
The Canadians looked beatable, the German team got better and once again took the lead through the Düsseldorfer Fischbuch. This lead did not last either, because the referees did not punish Canada for a clear foul before Lawson Crouse (38th / Arizona) equalized again. Another unfortunate goal conceded after a defensive error by Blais (45th) paved the way for the favorites to succeed. Tyler Toffoli (52) from the Calgary Flames made the decision. Scott Laughton from the Philadelphia Flyers scored the final score into the orphaned goal (59th).
The home World Cup is waiting in 2027
Nevertheless, Germany seems to have firmly established itself among the top nations. “We played great ice hockey throughout the tournament. We showed that we can not only fight against the big players, but also play,” said captain Moritz Müller at MagentaSport. The ambitious goal of ex-DEB President Franz Reindl, to be able to play regularly for medals in major tournaments by 2026, was fulfilled earlier than expected and hoped. “Everyone has been used to this very high level from the Germans since 2018,” said world association president Luc Tardif on the final weekend in Tampere.
As always after an unexpected success like this, the question now arises as to how sustainable German ice hockey can use the momentum. The contract for the home World Cup in 2027 last Friday could help if the DEB quickly creates concepts for young people and awareness in society. “I think we can always spark something,” said Captain Müller, who had already won Olympic silver in 2018, about the national team’s successes.