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Sports

Germany beat Slovakia for first win

It took a while for Germany to get out of the blocks at the Ice Hockey World Championships. But in their third game, the Germans booked an emphatic 5-1 victory over Slovakia.

Germany coach Marco Sturm publicly criticized his underachieving team ahead of Tuesday's clash with the Slovaks in St. Petersburg. But he had to wait for his players to show a reaction.

Peter Cehlaric put the Slovaks in front with a goal at 8:42 in the first period. But if anything the early deficit seemed to galvanize Germany. Four minutes into the second period, Patrick Hager equalized.

That opened the floodgates. Four-and-a-half minutes later veteran Philipp Gogulla put the Germans in front for good, and German Ice Hockey League star Patrick Reimer added another goal five minutes from the end of the period on a power play.

In the final period, the Slovaks seemed to resign themselves to their fate, and Germany were happy to inflate the score. Macek Brooks got his name on the scoresheet at 43:45. And five minutes before the end of the game, Dominik Kahun completed the 5-1 victory.

The win gives Germany four points in Group B and keeps alive their hopes of qualifying for the knock-out stages.

But Sturm and his men face a far sterner test in their next match against defending champions Canada on Thursday.

jc/rd (dpa)

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