Team Germany kept it close, but it simply wasn’t meant to be. Just as they had done against the Americans, Germany went toe-to-toe with the world’s best through the first half of the game.
Kelowna Rockets’ forward and Tampa Bay Lightning prospect, Nolan Foote, fired home a rebound to open up the scoring in an otherwise evenly-matched first period.
While the Canadians typically rely on firepower and overwhelming depth to wear down their opponents, the turning point in this one was Joel Hofer. The 19-year old goaltender of the WHL’s Portland Winterhawks made a key sequence of saves in the second period to help the Canadians maintain a one-goal lead.
Hofer — named the Team Canada player of the game — stopped Germany’s John-Jason Peterka on a breakaway with a great glove-hand save. Shortly after, the Canadians capitalized on the man-advantage with goals from Liam Foudy and Calen Addison just 1:37 apart.
With the Canadians holding a 3-0 lead after 40 minutes, Team Germany would have required a miracle to make the comeback. Ultimately, the best they could do was make a dent and spoil Hofer’s shutout bid with Yannik Valenti’s goal with 1:07 remaining.
Ty Dellandrea then closed the game with his empty-netter to make it a 4-1 final for Team Canada.
While the Germans hold an unfavourable 1-2 record in Group B competition thus far, it’s worth noting that the two losses have come against teams with excellent pedigrees and large expectations heading into this tournament.
The fate of Team Germany now relies on the outcome of their game against Team Russia and how the Czech Republic stack up against Canada and the USA. Needless to say, the Germans’ tournament is far from over, and based on their play through three games, they could be a very tough opponent in games deciding relegation.
Photo Credit: Deutscher Eishockey-Bund (Twitter)