Germany moves into 2nd place
by Andrew PODNIEKS|21 MAY 2024
photo: © International Ice Hockey Federation / Matt Zambonin
Germany broke open a tight game with three goals in the second period and skated to a 6-3 win over France this afternoon in Ostrava. The win puts Germany in second place in Group B while France finishes the tournament in 7th in the group and 14th in the final placings.

Germany will now prepare for the quarter-finals on Thursday against an opponent not yet known while France goes home with one win in seven games and assurances of playing again in the top pool again next year.

Today's win was the fourth in a row for Germany over France, the last loss coming back in 2016. Wojciech Stachowiak had two goals and an assist for the winners, who outshot France by a 40-23 margin.

"We started off slowly, but in the second period we were more aggressive and more physical," noted Germany's Maksymilian Szuber. "We’re happy to get the three points. When we look back, it’s not always the results. It’s trying to get better and better. We’re excited to be in the playoffs, but we’d like to be more consistent as a team. We need to work on breaking down their momentum and getting our momentum going. Once we get that figured out, I think we can win a couple of more games."

"We lost a lot of games here, but I think the team played pretty well," France's Enzo Guebey said in retrospect. "We need to keep going and remain focused for the Olympic qualifiers. We need to be more consistent. We’re playing a system that’s different, so we have to make sure everyone is on the same page. We had a really good start today, but we played two games in 24 hours and I think the last period was a game changer for them. We could feel it in our legs. It was easier for us at the start, but they had two days off and the difference was much greater towards the end."

A quiet first period ended with a bang in the form of two quick goals. France opened the scoring at 16:49, converting a two-on-one off the rush. Justin Addamo got the puck over to Valentin Claireaux, and he snapped a high shot over Philipp Grubauer’s glove to make it 1-0.

But Germany responded in the final minute. Dominik Kahun spotted Marc Michaelis to the side of the goal, and Michaelis moved out to create a better angle. He also put one in high, with 55.3 seconds left in the period.
Although the French scored twice in the second period, they conceded five and were fortunate in that two of that number didn’t count. Nevertheless, they were a mess in their own end and were lucky to come out of the period down only one goal. Anthony Rech scored at 1:09 to give France a 2-1 lead. His quick shot hit the camera inside the net and came out in a flash, and video review was required to confirm the puck was in.
Less than five minutes later, though, Germany tied it, Lukas Kalble getting to his own rebound on a three-on-one. Just 22 seconds later, France responded, going ahead for the third time. Sacha Treille took a lob pass for a breakaway and beat Grubauer with a backhand. 
The Germans thought they had scored again three minutes later, but video review showed that JJ Peterka’s goal was offside on the entry. No matter. They got a legit score at 11:01 off a turnover by France at the German line, Stachowiak finishing the play in front.
Just 22 seconds later again, Germany scored off a Maximilian Kastner shot, and they thought they added another from Leonhard Pfoderl, but another video review nullified it because of goalie interference.

The Germans added two more early in the third, Stachowiak finishing a breakaway with a good shot and then Lukas Reichel cashing in on a reound. That spelled the end for Quentin Papillon, who took a seat while Julian Junca finished the game.