The German national ice hockey team is in top form at the World Cup in Finland. After three wins in a row in the preliminary round, the DEB selection beckons to reach the quarter-finals. With a win against Italy, participation in the knockout phase would be almost perfect.

Germany – Italy

05/20/2022 | 3:20 p.m

With the fire breaking out in the hall during the warm-up and the start of the game being postponed by a good hour and a half, the fourth of seven preliminary round games had been given an additional challenge. The German team solved the problem thanks to a goal from AHL striker Marc Michaelis (33rd minute). “We just have to play smarter. We have to recognize the situations in the games, to play more boringly,” demanded Söderholm after the unspectacular but extremely important three points won.

Like Michaelis, Reichel and Gawanke, whose season ended with their teams on Sunday, also play in the second-class North American professional league AHL. Unlike the duo, Ottawa striker Stützle seems unlikely to play on Friday after his injury from the game against France (3-2) on Monday evening.

“We’ll have to wait and see how he’s doing tomorrow morning and then we’ll talk to the doctors. But we will not endanger the player’s health,” said Söderholm. Stützle’s NHL team Ottawa Senators is also involved in the decision.

The 2021 World Cup fourth and Olympic tenth has now won three in a row and only lost the opening game against record world champions and defending champions Canada. The Italians, on the other hand, are without a win after four games and are worried about remaining in the world group.

A year ago at the World Cup in Riga, a 9: 4 goal festival against Italians, who were plagued by corona at the time, initiated a successful World Cup in which a medal was only just missed. This time, with a success against the world number 16. the place in the knockout stages is all but secured. In the two final preliminary round games against Kazakhstan on Sunday and against Switzerland on Tuesday, without the great pressure of having to qualify for the quarter-finals, it would then be all about the starting position.