North America hasn’t been nice to Germany at this tournament. After opening with a 4-0 loss to host Canada, the Germans fell 6-0 to the U.S. on Sunday night.
Dylan Larkin led the way with two goals and an assist. Hudson Fasching added a goal and a helper, and Auston Matthews, Sonny Milano, and Jack Eichel also scored for the Americans. The Germans are still looking for their first goal of these World Juniors.
In a goaltending battle between World Junior newcomers, the U.S.’s Brandon Halverson got the better of Germany’s Ilya Sharipov. That wasn’t surprising, as the Americans outshot the Germans 53-14. The German goalie stood on his head and got a standing ovation as his team’s Player of the Game.
“It was just a terrible effort from our team tonight,” said Germany’s Dominik Kahun. “If we didn’t have our goalie, it would have been like 15-0 or something. We just couldn’t play like yesterday, and it sucks.”
Playing back-to-back games can be tough. After putting in a mostly solid effort versus Canada, the Germans couldn’t keep pace with the bigger, more skilled Americans, who boast five first-round NHL draft picks. The final score was similar, but the gap felt wider.
“It’s the World Juniors,” said Kahun. “You can’t be tired. It doesn’t matter if you play three games in three days. You just have to play hockey all the time and we didn’t do it tonight.”
Having finished ninth at the last two World Juniors, the Germans are trying to stay in the elite division for the third straight year. The U.S. is gunning for its fourth gold medal of all time (2004, 2010, 2013).
Matthews opened the scoring at 4:46, grabbing the puck behind the German net and tucking a wraparound past Sharipov’s right skate.
“It’s a great feeling to help contribute to the team,” said Matthews.
The U.S. made it 2-0 at 12:30 just after a German penalty had expired, as Fasching backhanded in a rebound at the top of the crease.
Germany’s best first-period chance came when Fabio Pfohl stole the puck from Eichel in the neutral zone and raced in on a breakaway, but he shot wide. The Americans led 22-5 in shots on goal after 20 minutes.
At 2:48 of the second period, Milano made it 3-0 on a broken play on a 2-on-1 rush with J.T. Compher. German defenceman Janik Möser blocked Milano’s attempted pass, but the puck bounced back to Milano and he zipped it past Sharipov’s blocker.
Sharipov made a fine save when Eichel set up Tyler Motte on the rush, and later foiled Compher with a superb close-in glove stop. He stoned Milano on a late second-period solo dash.
“We gave up too much in our zone,” said Sharipov. “I got a lot of shots. It was very difficult, but I think I helped my team.”
But you got the sense that it didn’t matter what heroics the German goalie performed. There would be no miraculous comeback.
And it just wasn’t Möser’s night. The hapless blueliner inadvertently deflected the puck past his own netminder at 15:04 when Larkin tried to put it cross-crease, giving the Americans a 4-0 lead.
Eichel, the American captain, potted his first goal of the tournament on a wraparound with 5:51 left in the third period. Like Canada’s Connor McDavid, he’s being closely watched as a potential #1 overall pick in the 2015 NHL Draft.
Larkin rounded out the scoring with 20 seconds remaining.
The lone U.S. loss to the reunified Germany in 10 total World Junior meetings was a 2-1 overtime decision on December 26, 2006. Marcel Müller scored the winner in Leksand, Sweden. (West Germany beat the U.S. three times in 13 tries.)
The next opponent for both teams is the Slovaks. The Americans get them on Monday and Germany faces them on Tuesday.
“It’s our biggest game of this tournament,” Kahun said. “We just have to play our game, and we hope we can win it.”
German forward Manuel Wiederer sat this one out due to a shoulder injury he got against Canada.
IHLC: With the win, the Americans win their sixth straight in their 12th and current International Hockey Lineal Championship reign, which they won from Finland in August to carry into Montréal, retaining against the same Finnish squad to open the tournament. The win improves the Americans to 3-0 all-time against Germany over the IHLC, with previous wins in 2004 and one week ago, in a pre-tournament exhibition win. The Americans are back at it in 24 hours’ time against Slovakia, looking to go 3-0 in group play with the IHLC.
04:44 – GOAL – Matthews (Schmaltz)
10:28 – PEN – Tuomie, hooking
12:30 – GOAL – Fasching (Larkin)
13:12 – PEN – Müller, high sticking
21:22 – PEN – Wood, holding
21:37 – PEN – Wissmann, slashing
22:48 – GOAL – Milano
25:19 – PEN – Hayden, charging
31:06 – PEN – Fasching, interference
32:15 – PEN – Eisenschmid, hooking
35:04 – GOAL – Larkin (Hanifin)
41:30 – PEN – Bender, slashing
45:25 – PEN – Bender, tripping
54:09 – GOAL – Eichel (Motte, Tuch)
56:35 – PEN – Schmidpeter, hooking
59:40 – GOAL – Larkin (Fasching, Werenski)
W: Halverson (14-14)
L: Sharipov (47-53)
SHOTS ON GOAL
22+11+20 = 53
5+2+7 = 14
Goaltenders: Brandon Halverson, Alex Nedeljkovic. Defence: Will Butcher (A), Brandon Carlo, Ryan Collins, Anthony DeAngelo, Noah Hanifin, Ian McCoshen, Zach Werenski. Forwards: J.T. Compher, Chase De Leo, Jack Eichel (C), Hudson Fasching, John Hayden (A), Dylan Larkin, Anthony Louis, Auston Matthews, Sonny Milano, Tyler Motte, Nick Schmaltz, Alex Tuch, Miles Wood.
Goaltenders: Kevin Reich, Ilya Sharipov. Defence: Tim Bender, Patrick Kurz, Janik Möser (A), Jonas Müller, Dorian Saeftel, David Trinkberger, Fabio Wagner, Kai Wissmann. Forwards: Andreas Eder, Markus Eisenschmid (A), Vladislav Filin, Dominik Kahun (C), Maximilian Kammerer, Marc Michaelis, Fabio Pfohl, Marc Schmidpeter, Nico Sturm, Frederik Tiffels, Parker Tuomie.