60 minutes of hockey has the potential to captivate more than just the eyes and ears of the audience, especially in the circumstances that were involved in Friday’s game between Germany and the USA.
Germany — playing their first game in the top division since 2015 — faced off against the perennial powerhouse Americans in what should have been a one-sided matchup.
Regardless of the obvious disparity in talent between the two teams, it wasn’t a blowout. In fact, one could argue that the USA’s 6-3 victory lacked the convincing statement they surely hoped for after dropping their tournament-opener to the Canadians.
And while the Americans ultimately came out on top, it’s worth noting that the rare smell of an upset was very much present at the halfway point of Friday’s game.
John-Jason Peterka swept away any notions of a passive German team just 2:32 into the game, giving the Germans a 1-0 lead.
Jordan Harris and Zac Jones helped the Americans take the lead with back-to-back goals in the first, but that too was short-lived. Not three minutes into the middle-frame, Peterka scored his second of the game to tie it up at 2-2, then things really got interesting.
An ambitious counter-attack resulted in an odd-man rush for the Germans between Dominik Bokk and Justin Schütz. As the American defenceman slid to break up the play, Schütz threaded the needle and found Bokk all alone where he picked the corner above Dustin Wolf.
Unfortunately for German fans, the 3-2 lead was as close as they would come to achieving a major upset. Shane Pinto tied the game before Curtis Hall gave the Americans a 4-3 lead heading into the final frame.
Hall — whose first goal of the tournament was the eventual game-winner — benefited from a blatantly missed call after he slashed the stick out of Bokk’s hands and was left undetected in front of the German net.
Bobby Brink and Oliver Wahlstrom then sealed the Americans’ victory in the third period, while Wolf held the fort during a late third-period barrage from the Germans.
Team Germany will have a quick turnaround before facing the Czech Republic on the 28th, while the Americans have a day off before playing Team Russia on the 29th.