The Germany national hockey team easily handled Italy for its third win at the World Ice Hockey Championship. The victory leaves them with a chance to catch Latvia and qualify for the quarterfinals.
Four goals in the first two periods was all Germany needed as they defeated Italy 4-1 in Cologne on Saturday evening.
The victory in their penultimate group stage game in the IIHF World Ice Hockey Championship puts them tied with Latvia on nine points. Latvia plays Russia on Monday before the two face off on Tuesday in a game that will determine who will get the final quarterfinal spot from Group A.
Cologne native Leon Draisaitl, who joined the team earlier Saturday after his Edmonton Oilers were eliminated from the NHL playoffs, assisted Christian Ehrhoff for Germany's opening goal. Italy's Michele Marchetti leveled the score less than a minute later, but Matthias Plachta restored Germany's lead with a power play goal just before the end of the first period.
Yannic Seidenberg helped ensure the victory, scoring early in the second period before setting up Dominik Kahun shortly after. Italy had an opening when German defender Dennis Seidenberg took a double-minor midway through the game, but Marco Insam was the only one who came close to scoring when he rattle the piping near the end of the second period.