The German national ice hockey team is hoping to refocus for its crucial game against Switzerland at this year's world championship. Their second Group A game on Sunday was one they'd probably all like to forget.
Just 24 hours after Germany got off to a winning start at this year's IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship, the national team found themselves licking their wounds after suffering a 10-0 defeat at the hands of the reigning Olympic gold medalists, Canada, in their second Group A game in Prague.
It all seemed to be going according to plan for the Germans until just past the eight-minute mark of the first period, when Canadian captain Sidney Crosby drew first blood. Just 23 seconds later, Edmonton Oilers forward Taylor Hall found the target to make it 2-0. It had all fallen off the rails for the Germans by the end of the first period, with the Canadians going into the dressing room with a 4-0 lead.
Starting goalie Dennis Endras, the hero of Germany's 2-1 win against France on Saturday, would concede two more goals before making way for the back-up, Danny aus den Birken. He didn't fare much better, letting in the final four markers. Neither netminder was to blame, though, as the Canadian forwards were given ample time and space to put on a display of clinical finishing. Hall was the most clinical, finishing the night adding two more goals to his first, to complete his hat trick.
The 10-0 shellacking was the worst a German team has suffered against Canada at a world championship since their 13-1 defeat in Vienna in 1967.
"We forgot to battle," said Canadian-born German head coach Pat Cortina. "Sometimes there is just nothing you can do."
To be fair to Cortina, this was never going to be an easy tournament, as more than 20 of the players that he invited to join the team for the worlds turned him down, most citing injuries. Still, Sunday's performance can't have helped his chance of seeing his contract extended after it expires at the end of this tournament.
Bring on Switzerland
With that game done and dusted, now all the Germans can do is to try to put it behind them as quickly as possible and focus on their next game, against Switzerland on Tuesday.
"We'll just forget about it," said Germany's only NHL player at the tournament, Tobias Rieder of the Arizona Coyotes.
National team and Adler Mannheim veteran Christoph Ullmann, who like Endras is fresh from winning the championship of the DEL, Germany's top hockey league, suggested that the best way to do that may involve the consumption of a cold beer.
pfd/cmk (dpa, SID)