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HOCKEY

Germany upsets Slovakia at ice hockey championships

Michael Hackert scored two goals and Robert Müller stopped 36 shots as Germany posted the first upset at the World Ice Hockey Championships, beating Slovakia 4-2 on Monday.

Germany upsets Slovakia at ice hockey championships
Robert Müller with a save. Photo: DPA

With the win, Germany moves into a tie with Slovakia for second place in Group C of the Worlds, which are being held in Canada for the first time in the 100-year history of the International Ice Hockey Federation.

Marco Sturm and Stefan Ustorf also scored for Germany, who were outshot 38-35 by the Slovaks.

“We played a really good game,” Boston Bruins forward Sturm said. “We tried to out-battle them and it worked. We were the better team today.”

Germany has had little success in recent years against Slovakia, who were without some of their top guns in this event. Marian Goborik, Pavol Demitra and Zdeno Chara are either hurt or skipping his event.

“This is huge. Slovakia is one of bigger teams in the world,” Sturm said. “We know they don’t have their big stars in the lineup but we don’t care. We take every win and it is nice to have it.”

Ivan Ciernik and Juraj Kolnik scored for Slovakia, who won the World title in 2002. Slovakia beat Germany 5-1 at the 2007 Worlds and 3-1 in 2003. But they couldn’t solve Muller on Monday and they gave up three power-play goals to Germany.

“It is nice to have those power-play goals,” Sturm said. “Special teams is such a big part of hockey right now.”

Müller, who plays for Kölner Haie, had to be sharp in the third period, making a point-blank save on Peter Fabus and then denying Andrej Podkonicky on a breakaway in the final minute.

“He was unbelievable today,” Sturm said of Müller. “He kept us in the game all night long. He deserved to be the best player tonight.”

PARTIES

German hockey champs face €500,000 party bill

Not only did the German national hockey team win Olympic gold this summer – they proved themselves champions in destructive partying – and are now facing a bill for half a million euros for their post-victory celebrations.

German hockey champs face €500,000 party bill
Photo: DPA

The squad held a party on the German cruise ship “MS Deutschland” after their August 11 victory over the Netherlands which secured their second consecutive Olympic gold medal.

Photos have been released in the German media of players dousing each other in champagne and smoking cigars on the ship – which the cruise ship owners claim resulted in a long list of damages.

The company says holes were burned in the teak panelling of the casino, a broken pane of glass, and numerous stains from spilled drinks. But the most expensive aspect of the repairs will be docking the ship.

“The carpets and upholstery cannot be replaced while the ship is in use,” Deilmann shipping company spokeswoman Kornelia Kneissl told Bild newspaper. Every day on land costs the shipping company €75,000, she said.

The matter appeared to be settled on Monday after the players apologized for the damage and the captain gave the owners a signed hockey stick.

But Bild reported on Tuesday that Deilmann had also sent the hockey team a bill for €500,000 in damages.

The German Hockey Association (DHV) said it had not yet received a bill.

But it remains unclear whether the association can be held legally responsible for the actions of its members.

One lawyer told Bild that liability had to be resolved individually in each case of damage.

“It’s simple. Whoever destroys a table must pay for it,” said Burkhard Benecken.

“But I doubt that in this case the liability for any physical damage can be assigned individually. That would have to have been assessed on site. Even the organizers are not automatically liable for the damage. You would have to prove the organization was at fault.”

If the shipping company pursues its claim, the matter is likely to end up in court.

The Local/sh

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