International Ice Hockey Federation

Germany does it again!

Late goal shocks Czechs

Published 01.04.2017 15:12 GMT-4 | Author Andrew Podnieks
Germany does it again!
PLYMOUTH, MICHIGAN - April 1: Germany's Ivonne Schroder #13 makes a diving save on Czech Republic's Katerina Mrazova #16 shot during preliminary round action at the 2017 IIHF Ice Hockey Women's World Championship. (Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/HHOF-IIHF Images)
Laura Kluge nudged a loose puck over the goal line with 1:37 left in regulation to break a 1-1 tie and give Germany a huge win over the Czech Republic.

Kluge was on the doorstep when Marie Delarbre took a shot on goal that eluded Klara Peslarova. The puck squirted in behind the goalie, and Kluge put the finsihing touches on the winning goal.

"There was a lot of traffic in front of the net, and I saw the puck behind the goalie and just put it in," Kluge said of her heroics. "Overall, we didn't play the game we wanted to, but the most important thing is that we won."

The Czechs outshot Germany, 41-12, but could muster only one goal agianst Ivonne Schroder, who was sensational in goal for the winners.

The win puts Germany atop Group B standings with six points and assures the team of a spot in the quarter-finals. The Czechs, meanwhile, winless in two games, are in third place with one point.

"We were the promoted team from last year, so we're definitely the underdogs," Germany captain Julia Zorn said. "Still, we came here to play our best hockey in every game. Both our goalies have been great so far, but we have to be honest and say that today's game didn't go as we wanted. They had way more shots, but the result is good, so we're happy."

"Compared to yesterday [a 2-1 shootout loss to Switzerland], we played better today," said Czech defenceman Adela Skrdlova. "We got a lot of shots and went to the net well, but we didn't score."

Most of the action took place in the second period. Germany opened the scoring at 14:39 off the rush. Kluge skated down the left wing and made a perfect pass to Zorn, who was going to the net. Zorn took the pass, looked quickly at her target, and drilled a nice shot over the shoulder of Peslarova.

"Kerstin Spielberger made a great pass out of our end to Laura, and her pass to me was awesome," Zorn said. "I was in a good place and just shot. So many times when you think about what you want to do, you don't score. I just shot without thinking."

Germany also incurred the only two penalties of the middle period--one early and one late--but the penalty killers did a stellar job of keeping the Czechs to the outside.

Another penalty early in the third saw the same scenario play out. Good control by the Czechs, but no clear scoring chances.

Soon after it was the Germans earning their first power play of the game and coming up empty, and that proved to be costly. The Czechs tied the score at 9:40 on an unbelievable pass in close from Alena Polenska.

By the side of the net but facing the corner, she made a back pass between her legs to Aneta Ledlova in front. No one but Ledlova saw the pass, and she had an easy time putting it into the open net.

In the end, though, it was all for naught as Kluge gave the Germans a victory. Teams have a day off tomorrow, and on Monday the Germans try for their third win in an afternoon game against Switzerland. Later in the day, the Czechs and Sweden play a game that might well have relegation round implications.