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German ice hockey hopes melt in face of red-hot Swedes

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German ice hockey hopes melt in face of red-hot Swedes
Photo: DPA
08:47 CEST+02:00
German ice hockey hopes melted on Wednesday night as the national team were thoroughly beaten 2:5 by giants Sweden, ending the Teutonic world championship campaign in the quarter final.

“We nonetheless played a good tournament,” said trainer Uwe Krupp after the game in Bratislava.

Alexander Barta scored in the third minute, raising hopes that Germany could hold their own against the Swedes and even possibly get through to the semi finals.

Michael Wolf also scored in the 39th minute, but this was not enough against the eight-times world champions who had already racked up a fistful of goals.

“Of course we are disappointed but in total one can be proud,” said Krupp.

Sweden's Martin Thörnberg had scored in the first minute, and managed it again in the 49th, while Patrick Berglund hit home in the 16th minute, Niklas Persson followed suit in the 25th minute and Loui Eriksson scored in the 29th minute.

By the second third of the match it was pretty clear the Germans were not going to make it, although this was partly due to bad luck. The first goal – after just 27 seconds – came off a fumbled defence of Thörnberg's shot by Robert Dietrich.

Barta managed to equalise nice and quickly, but by the time the first third was over, the Swedes had already regained the upper hand.

“We had good changes in the first third,” said German goalkeeper Dennis Endras. “But just like in the last three or four games, the 1:0 from Sweden was pretty unlucky but of course that affected the team. Despite this we can be proud.”

Last year Germany managed to push through to the semi final, and the team's performance in the early stages of the championship this year had led to talk that they might make it to the final.

Instead, the team will now have to concentrate on a couple of important personnel questions – they need a new trainer as Krupp is going to the Cologne Sharks, while sports director Franz Reindl is retiring this summer.

DPA/hc

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