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Germany opens ice hockey World Championship with historic victory

Germany had failed to defeat Russia in their previous 37 meetings at the ice hockey World Championship. Flawless goaltending led the unfancied Germans to their first victory over the world's No. 1 ranked team.

Russia's Dimitri Kulikov and Yevgeni Nabokov fight with Germany's Andre Rankel

Germany put in a surprisingly strong offensive performance

Germany's national ice hockey team made history on Friday by beating Russia 2-0 in the opening game of the World Championship in Bratislava. This was the first time that Germany has beaten Russia in the 38 games in which they have faced each other at the World Championship.

Germany took the lead five minutes into the second period when a shot from Thomas Greilinger squeezed through the pads of Russian netminder Evgeny Nabokov. Patrick Reimer got the insurance goal with two minutes left in the game.

Goalie Dennis Endras made 31 saves on his way to the shutout and was named as Germany's player of the game.

"We gained confidence during the last World Championship, and saw just what is possible," captain Michael Wolf said after the game. He was referring to the national team's strong showing in last year's tournament, in which the host nation made it to the semifinals before being stopped by Russia.

Friday's victory boosted Germany's chances of advancing from Group A of the preliminary round, in which they will face the hosts, Slovakia, on Sunday, and newly promoted Slovenia on Tuesday. The first three teams in the group advance to the qualification round, the last place team goes into the relegation round.

Author: Chuck Penfold (sid, dpa)
Editor: Susan Houlton

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