Less than twenty-four hours after an already injury-plagued squad had gotten stomped by the tournament’s defending champion and were then stripped of its one legitimate star player on account of suspension, a very resilient GERMANY absolutely shocked the CZECH REPUBLIC 3-0 to register a historic as well as crucial victory in its last Group A round robin game at the 2014 IIHF World Junior Championships.
Trainer ERNST HOEFNER’s understrength side had just conceded eight goals (including six on the power play) while not scoring at all in a lopsided loss to the United States on Sunday. The Germans also lost center LEON DRAISAITL, a highly rated 18-year-old who currently skates in the Canadian junior system with the Prince Albert Raiders of the Western Hockey League and is widely expected to be one of the first ten players chosen at the upcoming 2014 National Hockey League Draft this summer, as a result of his checking-from-behind major penalty and subsequent ejection from that heavy defeat at the hands of the reigning gold medalists. In the meantime, the Czech Republic were soaring with confidence after knocking off traditional powerhouse Canada following a shootout on Saturday.
Somebody, without a doubt, simply forgot to tell Germany that they had no chance whatsoever against the Czechs …
The trainer Hoefner, however, did get out a magic marker and write prominent messages such as “Disziplin” and “Schritt fuer Schritt” (step by step) for his players, who had already been belted by Canada (7-2) and Slovakia (9-2) at this year’s IIHF World Junior Championships prior to the American drubbing, all along the boards and on the plexiglass at the German team bench in the Malmo Isstadion prior to the team’s final Group A game.
Suitably informed, the German junior national team proceeded to clearly outskate their opponents from the Czech Republic over the first twenty minutes, as evidenced by the shots-on-goal statistic (14-8) that favored Deutschland. Still, plenty of people both at the Malmo Isstadion and all around the world watching on television were genuinely surprised when right wing FREDERIK TIFFELS, the 18-year-old who will play college hockey for Western Michigan University next season, backhanded a rebound home at close range to give Germany the 1-0 lead. Czech Republic goaltender MAREK LANGHAMER, the 19-year-old who plays in the Canadian junior system for the Medicine Hat Tigers of the Western Hockey League and was picked by the Phoenix Coyotes in the seventh round (# 184 overall) of the 2012 NHL Draft, might have done better with the initial shot but the German cycling to set up the strike was certainly top notch stuff.
The Czechs began to get their offensive act together in earnest starting with the middle frame but would find Germany shot-stopper MARVIN CUEPPER to be in fine form. The undrafted 19-year-old who regularly tends the nets for the Shawinigan Cataractes in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League had surrendered an extremely unhealthy 13 goals over roughly 91 minutes of action (8.57 average, .735 save percentage) on his first two appearances at these 2014 IIHF World Junior Championships. But this Czech Republic match was destined to be a much different story for Cuepper, then.
The Czech Republic had a fabulous opportunity to level terms in the second period when standout left wing RADEK FAKSA, the 19-year-old who skates in the Canadian junior system for the Kitchener Rangers of the Ontario Hockey League and was chosen by in the first round (# 13 overall) of the 2012 NHL Draft by the Dallas Stars, found himself in clean on the breakaway. But Cuepper had other thoughts and this particular save proved itself to be pivotal moment of the entire contest. This because the Germans then added a second goal shortly thereafter.
The influential Tiffels laid a heavy hit on Czech Republic defenseman LIBOR SULAK of KLH Chomutov in the offensive zone and stole the puck behind the net before sending a pass into the slot for DOMINIK KAHUN. The 18-year-old forward who has been skating in the Canadian junior system for the Sudbury Wolves of the Ontario Hockey League the past two years quickly whipped a wrist shot over the glove of Langhamer to double the Germans’ advantage less than five minutes before the second intermission. It was a third goal of this tournament for Kahun, who was, ironically enough, actually born in the Czech Republic, itself.
To compound the misery of Czech trainer MIROSLAV PREROST, the Germans also scored again even before the memorable second period had formally concluded. Once more it was the German offensive hero Tiffels, this time after a fine solo rush through the center ice zone and a devastating, if perhaps partially-screened, wrist shot from between the face-off circles. With the German goalkeeper Cuepper well on his way to making 40 saves without concession, there would be no way back for the white-shirted team on this particular day in Sweden.
The triumph was, indeed, a landmark event at the annual IIHF World Junior Championships. The Federal Republic of Germany lost all ten of the WJC games it contested with the former nation of Czechoslovakia prior to the breakup of the Eastern Bloc in the early 1990s. And the Czech Republic had also defeated Deutschland in all ten of the WJC matches prior to the tournament this year in Malmo.
Ach, wie schoen – was fuer ein ausgezeichnete Ergebnis!!!
ZU NULL GESPIELT — Deutschland netminder MARVIN CUEPPER delivered an eye-opening forty saves and impressively turned in an accompanying clean sheet, as well, to become the very first Germany junior national team goaltender ever to defeat the accomplished Czech Republic at the annual IIHF World Junior Hockey Championships.
December 30, 2013
2014 IIHF World Junior Championships – Group A
Malmo Isstadion – Attendance : 1,062
GERMANY 3 – CZECH REPUBLIC 0
14:25 … GER – F. Tiffels (Moser, Kahun)
35:24 … GER – Kahun (F. Tiffels)
37:51 … GER – F. Tiffels (Bender) – ppg
shots-on-goal : CZE 40 ( 8 + 13 + 19 ) – GER 34 ( 14 + 11 + 9 )
penalty minutes : CZE 12 – GER 8
referees : Papp (Canada) and Bjork (Sweden)
CZECH REPUBLIC : Langhamer – Knot, Sidlik ; Marcel, Kostalek ; Nemecek, Sulak – Faksa, Tomecek, Volek ; Pastrnak, Simon, Prochazka ; Kampf, Vrana, Kase ; Sedlacek, Zacha, Machac ; Zdrahal
GERMANY : Cuepper – Bender, D. Tiffels ; Saeftel, Moser ; Botzenhardt, Wagner ; Noske – Tuomie, Kahun, F. Tiffels ; Laub, Eisenschmid, Ziegler ; Kammerer, Neugebauer, Filin ; Klopper