Nothing good comes easy, just ask Team Germany whose 4-1 loss to Kazakhstan means a third and final game to decide who stays, and who goes.
After a 4-0 victory over Kazakhstan on Thursday, the Germans had a significant advantage heading into today’s game against their opponents. Now, it’s for all the marbles.
Despite top prospect Tim Stützle out with an illness, Germany gave their opponents about all they could handle, outshooting Kazakhstan 44-22 in the game.
Vladislav Nurek was remarkable once again, allowing just one goal — a last-minute tally from Luis Schinko — on those 44 shots he faced.
Stanislav Alexandrov opened the scoring for Kazakhstan in the first period. Shortly after the Germans killed off Tim Fleischer’s tripping penalty in the middle frame, Kazakhstan stretched the lead to two with Oleg Boiko’s goal.
Germany had a handful of opportunities on the man-advantage, their bread and butter this tournament, but failed to capitalize on them. Alexandrov then scored his second of the game in the third period before Denis Chaporov put the contest out of reach with an empty-net goal.
Not only was this Kazakhstan’s first win of the tournament, but it was Germany’s first loss to their opponent in World Junior history.
How the Germans follow up Saturday’s disappointing loss remains to be seen, but one would expect another solid effort, and perhaps the return of a game-breaker in Stützle.
The third and final game of the relegation round is slated for 11 AM local time in Ostrava (5 AM EST).
Photo Credit: Deutscher Eishockey-Bund (Twitter).