For several years now, Team Germany has found a way to not only keep itself afloat as one of the top 10 ice hockey nations in the world at the IIHF U18 World Championship, but has actually managed to battle its way into the quarterfinals. This has been the case for four years running, but the last three years were due in large part to the participation of the dynamic duo of Leon Draisaitl and Dominik Kahun.
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.
With the preliminary round now in the books, eight of the 10 teams taking part in the 2014 World Junior Championship can look forward to battling it out for medals beginning with the four quarterfinals matches on Thursday. But the other two teams on the outside looking in, Germany and Norway, are in the more precarious position of having to qualify for next year's top level of the WJC.
Heading into their fourth and final match of the 2014 World Junior Championship's preliminary round, Germany needed to reverse their trend of the first three games in which they surrendered copious amounts of goals to the opposition. And reverse it they did, as the Germans notched a 3-0 win over the Czech Republic to at least give themselves a shot at avoiding the relegation round.