International Ice Hockey Federation

Germany stuns Sweden

Promoted for this year, win opener, 3-1

Published 31.03.2017 22:49 GMT-4 | Author Andrew Podnieks
Germany stuns Sweden
PLYMOUTH, MICHIGAN - MARCH 31: Germany's Manuela Anwander #5 celebrates with Daria Gleissner #20 and Carina Strobel #14 after a second period goal against Sweden during preliminary round action at the 2017 IIHF Ice Hockey Women's World Championship. (Photo by Matt Zambonin/HHOF-IIHF Images)
Germany broke a 1-1 tie with two goals late in the second period and skated to a surprising 3-1 win over Sweden at USA Hockey Arena in Plymouth, Michigan.

The goal spurt was a great reaction to an own goal by Ronja Jenike, which had cancelled a well-earned 1-0 lead.

The win adds motivation to a German team that has had its ups and downs over the last year. They earned promotion to Plymouth after finishing first in Division I-A last year, but at the Olympic qualifications a few weeks ago they lost the final game to Japan, 3-1, and failed to earn a place in PyeongChang.

"Our focus is on this tournament now, and to win as many games as possible," Manuela Anwander said. "We were disappointed we didn't qualify for the Olympics, but that's over now."

"They have a really great team, but I don't know why we lost," said Swedish forward Hanna Olsson. "We'll have to analyse this tonight. We played them before the tournament and know they play strong defence. But we didn't score." 

Nicola Eisenschmid opened the scoring at 2:40 of the second period on a power play. She was at the top of the crease and redirected a quick pass betwen the pads of Sara Grahn.

Three and a half minutes later, Lisa Johansson drove down the left wing. Her shot was stopped by Jennifer Harss, but defenceman Jenike was careless in clearing the rebound, snapping it into her own goal at 6:11 much to her own shock.

But the Germans proved resilient. They regained the lead at 18:47 on a nice play off a faceoff. Laura Kluge won the draw, and Anwander stepped into the circle and wired a high shot over Grahn's shoulder before she could react.

"I got a quick shot, which was important," Anwander said. "It's happened to me a lot this year that I get the puck on the same play and try a move, but it often didn't work. This time, I just decided to shoot right away, and it went in."

Then, with just 52.3 seconds left in the period, the Germans made it 3-1, converting a turnover inside the Sweden blue line. Captain Julia Zon made a nice pass to Andrea Lanzl, and she wired a shot in for the two-goal lead.

In the third, theh Germans were masterful in holding the lead without backing into their own zone, and try as they might the Swedes could draw no closer.

"We played them a lot this year," Anwander added, "and that helped. We knew what to do and what not to do, and we avoided too many mistakes today. That was important."