Ice Hockey World Cup 2024: No matter who comes: Germany goes into the game as underdogs

National ice hockey team

No matter who comes: Germany goes into the game as an outsider

As of: 2:15 p.m. | Reading time: 2 minutes

The German national ice hockey team will face France at the end of the group phase

Quelle: picture alliance/dpa/AP/Darko Vojinovic

The German national ice hockey team qualified early for the World Cup quarter-finals and thus achieved its minimum goal. Everything else is an addition. The opponent for the knockout round has not yet been determined. But Germany’s prospects are extremely modest either way.

An hour before midnight, the German national ice hockey team received the good news. Thanks to Latvia’s 3-2 penalty shootout win against Slovakia, Harold Kreis’ team qualified early for the quarter-finals of the World Cup in the Czech Republic. The final group game against France on Tuesday (12.20 p.m., ProSieben and MagentaSport) turns into a warm-up for the knockout round.

The confident qualification for the quarter-finals confirms the upward trend in German ice hockey. “The goal for the World Cup is to reach the quarter-finals, that will be difficult enough because the tournament is very strong. Once we have achieved that, we will look further,” said Christian Künast, sports director of the German Ice Hockey Federation (DEB), to WELT before the tournament.

Big win against Latvia – “We trusted each other”

The German runners-up have made an impressive new start at the Ice Hockey World Cup. After two bitter defeats, the team played themselves into a frenzy when they beat Latvia 8-1 in the fourth group game, but then put the brakes on their euphoria.

After you have confidently achieved your minimum goal, you can continue to look at DEB in a relaxed manner. Everything that comes after the preliminary round is an encore for the national team. A repeat of last year’s silver medal or even a triumph in the final would be a real sensation. The big nations like Sweden, Canada and the Czech Republic are too strong at this World Cup. Nevertheless, the team’s performance gives hope for more. Germany has the second strongest offense in the tournament with 28 goals scored and has strong support in goal in Philipp Grubauer.

Canada, Switzerland or the Czech Republic as possible opponents

But in the quarterfinals the team needs a perfect day to be able to play for the medals again. Possible opponents include Canada, the Czech Republic and Switzerland. Whoever it is against, Germany will go into the quarterfinals as underdogs. Record world champion Canada around captain John Tavares and youngster Connor Bedard is peppered with NHL stars. The hosts, the Czech Republic, upped the ante during the tournament and nominated superstars David Pastrnak, Martin Necas and Pavel Zacha, whose teams were eliminated from the NHL play-offs. Switzerland has probably the strongest squad in its World Cup history with seven NHL professionals, including top defender Roman Josi and striker Kevin Fiala.

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In the German national team they are hoping for a duel against their neighbors. “I would be happy. It’s always fun to play against them. They might be a bit afraid of us if you look at the last few years,” said John-Jason Peterka, who is once again Germany’s most dangerous striker with five goals and three assists. Last year and at the 2021 World Cup, Germany beat Switzerland in the quarter-finals.

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