U18-Worldchampionship in Finland
Before the championship starts, the U18-nationalteam plays in two exhibitiongames in Füssen, germany, against the U18-team from the czech republic. A 3-3 draw follows a 3-2 win (Goals from Goc(2), Schauer, Danner, Barz and Triller). So, the team was in a good form for the championships, but horable news reaches the team after the second game against the czechs’: the top defenseman, Alexander Sulzer has a shoulder-injury and can’t play in the championships. Very bad news for the team, Sulzer was the rookie of the year in the third league and a possibly draft-pick in this year or the next year. But, Alex Sulzer is just 16 years old and can play at the championships next year.
Two days before the championships started, coach Jim Setters named his squad (detailly informations about every player will follow in the next days) and set following players on the recall-list: Goalies Alexander Lerchner from Kaufbeuren and Patrick Ehelechner from Mannheim (born 1984, so he will play in the U18-championships next year). Defenders Florian Horvath from Kaufbeuren, Daniel Kirchberger from Augsburg and Sebastian Osterloh from Cologne. Forwards Manfred Eichberger from DNL-champion Riessersee and Thomas Fritzmeier from Mannheim (his brother Franz plays last season 8 games for OHL-club Ottawa 67’s).
So, the championship started and in the first game the germans played against norway. Top prospect Marcel Goc scored the 1-0 in a power play-situation (Norway had to many players on the ice), after a good pass from his wing Benjamin Barz. So, minutes later, the second line scored the 2-0, Yannic Seidenberg after an assist from Andre Mücke. But, Erik Johansen scores the 2-1and the best norwegian forward, Patrick Thoresen scored the equalizer, 2-2. In the next game, against russia, the germans had no chance to win it. The team from european’s top prospect Ilya Kovalchuk beat the germans 8-3, only Stephan Gottwald stars with 2 goals (Assists from linemates Melischko and Rohatsch). The other goal was scored by defenseman Stefan Schauer. In the russian team, Kovalchuk had 3 points and Stanislav Tchistov had one point, but he didn’t shine.
In fact of this, the team had 1 point and needs a win in the other games against sweden and the czech republic to come into the quarterfinals. And in the game against sweden, they played a very good defense-hockey and defeat them with 2-1. Stephan Gottwald with his third goal in the third game (assist from Andreas Kleinheinz) and Marcel Goc (assists from Benjamin Barz and Martin Hinterstocker) scored in the first period. But after this, sweden plays in 5-3 power-play in the last minutes in the first period, but the penalty-killing-team had a strong defense and the swedish top-line didn’t score. Gustav Grasberg scored the 2-1 in the last period but goalie Pätzold and his defensemen saves the victory.
After sweden defeats the russians one day later, the germans needs a draw against the czech republic to come into the quarterfinals. Petr Kanko scores the 1-0 for the czech’s in a power-play-situationlate in the first period. But the germans fight back and Andreas Kleinheinz scored the 1-1 in the 32th minute. Assisted by Benjamin Barz and Marcel Goc. At just 16 seconds to play in the second period, Marcel Goc passes to defenseman Felix Petermann at the blue-line and he passes to Stefan Schauer, who scores the 2-1 with his shot! In the last period nothing happens…the czechs took their goalkeeper Miroslav Kopriva out, two minutes and 16 seconds to play. And just one second to play, Daniel Menge scored the 3-1 after a pass from Dirk Wrobel.
The team reaches the quarterfinal and played against switzerland. But, it wasn’t a good day for the young germans, they loose with 1-7. Beat Schiess-Forster, Andrei Ambuhl, Severin Blindenbacher, Emanuel Peter, Marco Gruber, Renato Lemm and Florian Conz scored the goals for the suiss team, the only german goal was scored by Adrian Grygiel (assist by Marcel Goc). So the undisputed winner was switzerland and germany must play in the place5-game against the US-nationalteam.
Joey Crabb (assisted by Jesse Lane, Bryan Miller) scored the 1-0 for the USA in the first period. But, after three minutes and 22 seconds were played in the second period, Stephan Gottwald with his fourth goal at the tournament scores the 1-1, assisted by Marian Rohatsch and Andreas Kleinheinz. And germany’s top-line scores the 2-1. Benjamin Barz was assisted by Adrian Grygiel and topscorer Marcel Goc. So, the game and the championships ends for the german U18-team with the fifth place. Congratulations to them. Also, congratulations to U18-world-champion Russia (won 6-2 against switzerland tonight).
The best players were: Goalie Dimitri Pätzold (Save-percentage 90,78%), Blueliner Stefan Schauer (two power play-goals, +6), Wing Benjamin Barz (three assists), goalgetter Stephan Gottwald with for goals in six games and last but not least Marcel Goc. Germany’s top-scorer scored 2 goals and 4 assists in 6 games, recorded one power play- and one game-winning-goal and wins 96 from 155 face-off’s (62%)!
The complete stats are in a other article on the german-site on hockeysfuture.com.