Germany have suffered another defeat in the world ice hockey world championships group stages. Hosts Sweden secured a 5-2 victory, leaving Germany in need of a string of wins to move on to the quarterfinals.
Tournament co-hosts Sweden easily defeated Germany 5-2 on Wedenesday, making Germany's task of progressing to the quarterfinals of the competition all the tougher.
Sweden took an early lead through Chicago Blackhawks center Marcus Kruger, who scored from a rebound from just outside the crease.
Germany piled on the pressure to equalize, with their left winger Philip Gogulla leveling just a second before the first intermission courtesy of a pass from Kai Hospelt.
In the second period, though, with Chicago Blackhawks forward Viktor Stalberg and the Ottawa Senators' Erik Karlsson giving their team a comfortable 3-1 lead.
Further fightback in vain
Germany's Patrick Reimer pegged back the Swedish lead, toward the end of the second period, but Niklas Persson and right wing player Johan Franzen ensured that Sweden, who are hosting the championships alongside Finland, had built up convincing margin on their rivals by the end of the match.
Although the Germans had some good periods of play, Sweden managed 40 shots during the game compared with Germany's 17. "We gave everything," said Germany defender Christoph Schubert. "They were ice-cold when it came to exploiting our mistakes."
The defeat follows a 2-0 loss to Russia on Tuesday evening. Germany will now be looking for a string of wins in their next three matches to secure progress into the quarterfinals. The first of those games is against Denmark on Saturday, followed by Norway and the Czech Republic.
Qualification for the knockout stages would also bring with it the prize of automatic qualification for the 2012 Winter Olympics in the Russian venue of Sochi.
rc/jm (AFP, dpa, Reuters)