BRATISLAVA – Denmark needed a win in regulation time to stay in the playoff run. They beat Germany, but in a penalty shootout, 4-3. Germany still hasn't lost in regulation time in the tournament.
Denmark - Germany 4-3 (1-1, 1-1, 1-1, 0-0, 1-0) Game Sheet Photos
"We really tried to go for the three points. We played fun hockey, they tried to be a little tough, but we kept the puck moving. I’m sure the crowd liked watching us," said Mads Bødker.
The Bødker brothers, Mads and Mikkel, scored a goal each, and goaltender Frederik Andersen made 30 saves for Denmark.
"We knew it was going to be a tough battle. The Danes fought back hard. It was hard to hold the 3-2 lead at the end. They showed some great skill in the shootout," said Justin Krueger.
Last year, when Germany beat Denmark 3-1, in a Qualification Round game, it was the first time Germany beat Denmark in a World Championship. Now, tonight’s game was only the fourth World Championship game between the two countries, but close games seem to be a real trend.
Germany had collected points in all their previous games in the tournament, and having already qualified for the quarter-finals, it was the favourite against Denmark, who still had zero points in the Qualification Round, but still also mathematical chances of making the playoff stage.
"We wanted to get three points to day, for sure. Maybe we were a little tired. We only got only one point, but we did a lot of good things, too," said Germany captain Michael Wolf.
"We never give up, we battle for the puck, and get a lot of pucks to the net, and that’s good," he added.
Denmark got their chance after eight minutes of play when Philip Gogulla took an interference penalty. At 8:09, defenceman Mads Bødker left the blueline and tiptoed to the far post, to one timed Mads Christensen’s pass into an empty German net, to give Denmark a 1-0 lead.
"I think he tried to shoot, and the puck landed in my blade. I hoped he would pass, that’s why I was there," said Mads Bødker.
Just two minutes later, it was the same Mads Christensen, who turned the puck over on the red line. Marcel Müller sent it to John Tripp who was flying down the right wing. His slapshot from the top of the circles beat Andersen high on the stick side at 10:51.
In his first shift of the second period, the younger Bødker, Mikkel, grabbed a loose puck by the side of the German net, and beat Dennis Endras with a wraparound. Julian Jakobsen’s assist was his second point of the game.
But again, Germany got right back into the game. This time it only took them 26 seconds to tie the game. Alexander Barta beat Andersen from two metres at 2:05. The puck bounced around, but Marcus Kink managed to pass it to Barta who was all lone in the slot.
With 2:24 remaining in the period, Germany had a two-man advantage for 37 seconds, but the Danish penalty kill unit managed to ride the storm out.
Germany took the lead in the game, for the first time, just 1:32 into the third period, when Kevin Lavallée’s shot from the blue line caught Frederik Andersen by surprise, and beat him high on the stick side.
Denmark got another chance to tie the game, when it, in turn, had a two-man advantage. Mikkel Bødker's penalty turned it into a four-on-four situation, and Germany could get the game back under control.
For a while. With 2:27 remaining, Morten Green sent a cross-ice pass to Nichlas Hardt in the German zone. Hardt cut to the middle and sent a backhander to the net, and it went in through Endras's five-hole, to tie the game, 3-3.
"In the last two games, we’ve given up a couple more goals than we usually do. All we can do is learn from these games and come out stronger in our last game before the quarter-finals," said Krueger.
Denmark tried to get the winner with six skaters, but the game was tied at 3-3 after the regulation time, which meant an end to Denmark's chances of making the playoff stage.
The overtime was goalless, and Denmark surely felt entering the shootout. Not only did they beat Latvia in Bratislava, they also won all the shootouts in their pre-tournament exhibition games.
And they won tonight, too.
Denmark Morten Madsen: no goal
Germany Marcel Müller: no goal
Denmark Mads Christensen: GOAL
Germany Patrick Reimer: GOAL
Denmark Mikkel Bødker: GOAL
Germany Michael Wolf: no goal