Second in the group and a record of points: Germany’s ice hockey team set an example once again at the end of the World Cup preliminary round in Finland. Germany lost 3:4 (2:1, 0:2, 1:0/0:1) after a penalty shoot-out against the previously sovereign Swiss team, which was peppered with numerous NHL stars, on Tuesday in Helsinki, but defied the group winners for the first point and was not impressed by questionable referee decisions. The goals of Kai Wissmann (12th minute), Stefan Loibl (16th) and Matthias Plachta (48th) forced the favorites into extra time for the first time at this World Cup, in who didn’t score a goal. The decision was only made in the penalty shoot-out, after no German had scored, but Nico Hischier and Damien Riat for Switzerland. Andres Ambühl (2nd) had previously scored in his 17th World Cup, Pius Suter (22nd) and Denis Malgin (39th) in regular time for the Swiss, who meet the USA in the quarterfinals in Helsinki on Thursday.
The German team also plays second in Helsinki on Thursday. The opponent was only determined in the evening in the duel between Olympic champions Finland and the Czech Republic (after the editorial deadline). Due to the draw after 60 minutes, the team of national coach Toni Söderholm ended the preliminary round with 16 points and thus achieved the best German preliminary round result at a World Cup ever. In a high-class duel between the two arch-rivals there would even be a victory in regular time and thus the group victory been in there, but the referees did not punish the sometimes brutal attacks by the Swiss. In the final third, after a clear elbow check against Leon Gawanke, the Swiss Malgin didn’t even get two minutes instead of the five-minute penalty that was due. Toni Söderholm said after the game: “Disastrous decisions. There’s no need to discuss it. Completely incomprehensible to me. That’s not part of the sport. We’re talking about checks that have nothing to do with respect.” From the start, the Swiss seemed particularly motivated after a few crucial defeats against German teams in major tournaments. The puck wriggled in the net as soon as the Confederates shot the ball. World Cup record player Ambühl gave Germany’s number one Philipp Grubauer no chance in his 122nd World Cup game.