The German Ice Hockey Federation (DEB) sent, on Sunday morning, the timetable for the arrival of the German national team to its home country. Spread over four flights, the first players should land in Frankfurt/Main on Mondays at 9.10am, and the last at 1.10pm in Berlin. A large reception was waiting for them, neither in Munich nor in Düsseldorf. Even if they win one of their last two World Cup matches in Riga, it will not be a victorious comeback in front of thousands of fans, due to the pandemic. As it was, it turned out to be a sadly quiet arrival at home. Because of the totally failed bronze match against the USA (1:6), the German team missed their first World Cup medal in 68 years on Sunday. At the end of the day there was fourth place, the best result since 2010. In the IIHF world ranking published on Monday, the DEB team climbed to fifth and is now ahead of ice hockey superpowers such as the Czech Republic and Sweden. , who have won 23 world titles. But it was not the result the Germans hoped and expected of themselves.
They lost this match for third place on Saturday: after 1:2 in the semi-final against Finland, when they dominated the defending champions in parts, the players’ legs and hearts became as heavy as concrete. “Today was not our day,” national team coach Toni Soderholm said after the match against the United States. “Yesterday was our day, but unfortunately we didn’t win there.” Captain Moritz Muller saw it this way: “We were closer to the final. Today we couldn’t get it out of our head.”
In the end, they were allowed to feel somewhat like world champions. Canada, with three defeats as bad as ever at the World Cup and only faltered in the quarter-finals thanks to a better goal difference against newly promoted Kazakhstan as the German side knocked hosts Latvia out of the tournament, outplayed the Finns 3-2 in the final after extra time and tied for their seventh title. Twenty, equaling the record for the World Championships in Russia. Nick Paul scored the winning goal after 66:26 minutes. Prior to that, the Ottawa Senators striker managed to score only one goal in the tournament: 1:3 in the preliminary round against Germany. DEB has now defeated the world champions in this and last World Cup. But this was not even a simple consolation. Mueller, who was discharged with a hand injury, said after the match against the United States: “Not a single dry eye was left in the locker room. This team deserves it all. Teams like this don’t meet often.”
The scenes were then symptomatic when Muller returned to honor the best players and disappointment erupted from him: the team gathered around their captain in tears, and everyone took a cologne man in his arms. Even television viewers felt “how special this group is,” Mueller said. And there were a few: as many as 2.7 million people watched the semi-finals at Sport1. Even Renee Vaselle, the outgoing IIHF president, said you can “feel the spirit of this team”.
Reindl support: Twelve out of 15 major regional associations support DEB
There was an uproar over the weekend over Vasel’s potential successor. The heads of regional associations in Thuringia, Saxony-Anhalt and Schleswig-Holstein launched an attack against EDB President Franz Rendel, who announced his candidacy for the presidency of the IIHF on Saturday. The allegations are: Reindl, 66, Honorary Chairman of DEB since 2014 and paid Managing Director of DEB Eishockey GmbH from 1994 to the end of July 2020, did not always act in the interest of the association and the LLC, for example in negotiations with a Facebook marketer. While he did give the Swiss sports rights dealer remarkably favorable terms, he gave himself a “full salary” of around €9,000 per month plus the company car. Spiegel the speech. Rendel responded with “deep concern” to the allegations on Sunday: “It appears that there is an attempt here to personally harm the association and individuals.” In the evening the president got his support. Twelve out of the 15 state associations “explicitly” distanced themselves from the other three government associations in a joint declaration: the aspects that they “deal are known and communicated to us transparently and widely at public meetings and in working groups with all means of state sports associations.” The declaration of honor ends with the following words: “We all welcome the candidacy of Franz Reindel for the presidency of the IIHF and wish him all the best.”
Only the German team in Riga received more support. Players said they were overwhelmed by feelings of condolences from home, by phone, text message or on social media. They were denied a medal. “But the memories will remain,” said Moritz Muller as the tears dried. “At the moment it hurts brutally. We wanted more,” said defense chief Corbinian Holzer, who was elected to the All-Star Team alongside Moritz Seider.
“He trusts us to do things no one thought we could do before,” says striker Knoebels of coach Söderholm.
What would have been quite Gaga not too long ago describes the new German ice hockey self-portrait quite accurately. “We have left our complexes that we have carried with us for years,” Capt. Muller explained. In their belief in themselves, which former national coach Marco Sturm instilled in them and who took them to a silver medal at the Olympics in 2018, they will now be reinforced by Toni Soderholm and his assistants. “We have a team of coaches who trust us 100 percent to play at this level,” Muller said. “You have to understand that feeling as a German first.” Marcel Knoebels, with three goals and five assists alongside German top scorer Matthias Blachta (4/4) said, “Tony knows how to get everyone involved. He trusts us to do things no one thought we could do before. One of them is getting closer and closer to those countries. “Where six, seven or eight years ago everyone thought we were going to get a double,” Knoebbels said. The last time it happened to Germany was at the 2015 World Cup against Canada, when they set 0:10 against a team of NHL stars. On the other hand, The 2021 Canadian low-budget team needed then-nominated striker Andrew Mangyapan, in German: the Bread Eater, who led the team to the title with seven goals in seven games. He left the Germans with the crumbs this time.
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