Canada crushes Germany at ice hockey championship

Germany suffered its worst ice hockey loss in 22 years as it was thrashed 10-1 by defending champion Canada in the qualification round of the World Ice Hockey Championships on Saturday.

Canada crushes Germany at ice hockey championship

With four goals by Eric Staal and five assists by Martin St. Louis, the German national ice hockey team were in a state of shock on Saturday as they grappled with their failure to make it to the quarterfinals of the World Cup in Canada and a direct qualification to the Olympic Games 2010.

“You feel a bit like a truck just steamrollered you,” Michael Hackert told news agency dpa. National coach Uwe Krupp said it was the worst showing since he took over in December 2005. “It was so bad, I don’t have words to describe it,” he said.

Staal, who had been held goalless through Canada’s first four contests, had a breakout game against Saturday with a hat trick in the second period in front of a crowd of 9,182 at the Metro Centre arena. With the win Canada maintained their perfect record atop Group F in the 16-team tournament which is being held in both Halifax and Quebec City.

In other qualification round games Saturday, Ales Kotalik scored twice as the Czech Republic squeaked by Belarus 3-2. Russia was also looking to keep their unbeaten record intact in a late game against Sweden in Quebec City.

Heading into Saturday’s game, Canada had been relying on the line of Rick Nash, Ryan Getzlaf and Dany Heatley for the bulk of its scoring. But the supporting cast came to life led by Carolina Hurricanes’ Staal, Tampa Bay Lightning’s St. Louis and Buffalo Sabres’ Derek Roy as they imposed their will on the Germans. The trio finished with 11 points between them.

It doesn’t come much easier than Staal’s fourth goal. The puck was bouncing his way all night and it was evidenced in his final goal with 5:30 left in the second period. Standing off to the right side of the German net, the puck careened over to Staal who simply flicked it with one hand on his stick into the open cage.

Canada’s next game is Monday against Finland to close out the qualification round.


German football club ends partnership with Russia’s Gazprom

German football club Schalke 04 announced Monday it had prematurely ended its partnership with Russian gas giant Gazprom following Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

German football club ends partnership with Russia's Gazprom

The deal between the second-tier German club and Gazprom had been due to run until 2025 with Schalke receiving around €9 million ($10 million) per year in sponsorship.

Had the Gelsenkirchen-based club won promotion back to the Bundesliga at the end of this season, the sponsorship figure would have risen to €15 million annually.

Schalke had already removed the Gazprom logo from their shirts for Saturday’s 1-1 draw at Karlsruhe.

In a statement, Schalke said their finances were “unaffected by this decision”.

“The club’s management is confident that it will be able to present a new partner in the near future.”

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Gazprom representative Matthias Warnig resigned from the club’s supervisory board last Thursday.

Hans-Joachim Watzke, interim president of the German Football Association (DFB), had already hinted there could be financial aid for Schalke if they split from Gazprom.

“If this requires the solidarity of other clubs in Germany to get them out of this situation, then we have to discuss how we can manage that,” Watzke told ZDF.

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