Germany were staring at defeat to Latvia but Felix Schütz equalized with 33 seconds to play in an absorbing contest. Frederik Tiffels sealed victory for the hosts in a shootout, to set up a clash with Canada on Thursday.
Cologne native Frederik Tiffels scored the winning goal for Germany in a dramatic shootout that saw the hosts through against Latvia.
"It was wonderful, a great moment, and for the whole team," Tiffels said about his decisive goal.
"I thought to myself, make it easy." And that's exactly what he did, cueing wild scenes of celebration at the sold out Lanxess Arena.
The game had been a nail-biter. After a tense opening period that was dominated by Germany, Adler Mannheim left winger David Wolf raised the roof with a powerplay goal.
That goal was followed up with another 27 seconds later by New York Islanders star and veteran defenseman Dennis Seidenberg to make it 2-0 to the Germans.
Latvia forward Gunars Skvorcovs replied late in the second period, and Janis Sprukts equalized midway through the third. Center Andris Dzerins scored a powerplay goal with four minutes left to make it 3-2 to Latvia and leave Germany staring at an exit from the tournament.
But with Germany on the ropes, they somehow forced an equalizer with 33 seconds to go through Felix Schütz, making it 3-3 and forcing overtime, with Germany eventually victorious in the shootout.
Germany are now to face Pool B winners Canada, widely considered one of the two strongest teams in the tournament alongside Russia, in Thursday's quarterfinal.