While the goal may have been modest, Germany's 2014 World Junior Championship entry managed to maintain their place among hockey's top countries at the U20 level by virtue of their winning a best-of-three, relegation round series over a tough Norway squad. By virtue of their win, Germany will take part in the 2015 WJC that will be held in Toronto, ON and Montreal, QC a year from now, while Norway once again drops down to the Division 1A WJC.
The Germans didn't start the series particularly well, dropping a 3-0 decision to the Norwegians in the opening game. And after two periods of the second game, it looked like Norway just might pull off the upset as they were leading Germany, 3-2, heading into the final stanza. But the Germans, led by talented power forward Leon Draisaitl, came back to win that game 4-3, then secured their place at next year's U20 WJC with a 3-1 win on medal day at the 2014 WJC.
For Draisaitl, this tournament was a bit of a mixed bag. On the one hand, he played well when he was in the lineup. But staying in the lineup was the problem for the big German, who plays for the WHL's Prince Albert Raiders. Draisaitl received game misconducts twice and was suspended once over the course of this tournament, depriving him of valuable ice time and his team of its best player.
Overall, Draisaitl, who is a top prospect for the 2014 NHL Draft, netted two goals and added four assists in six games. He finished second on the team in scoring behind linemate, Dominik Kahun.
Draisaitl spoke with Hockey's Future following the clinching win over Norway, a conversation that is captured in this HF video.
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