Germany & Austria stay among InLine elite

Canada and Great Britain remain in Division I

25.06.2008
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Germany saved itself from Division I by defeating Canada in the key qualification game. Photo: Jakub Sukup

Germany – Canada: 11-3 (3-0-, 2-1, 3-1, 3-1)
After outscoring its opponents 39-3 in the Division I preliminary round, Canada’s InLine hockey party came to an abrupt halt on Wednesday as Germany won the qualification game, 11-3, dashing the Canadian hopes of moving up to the top division for now. It was Germany's first win of the championship and couldn’t have come at a better time as it secured their place in the top division. Canada will remain in Division I for the rest of this year’s championship. Germany put in a solid team effort in the first half, climbing out to a 5-1 lead. Five different players scored for the Germans. But more importantly, Germany held the high-scoring Canadians to just one goal in the first half, halting the offense that had been rolling over its opponents. Germany took out starting goaltender Jochem Voller at halftime and put in Thomas Ower. Almost immediately Canada made it a 5-2 affair with a power-play goal, but just over two minutes later, Michael Wolf scored his second goal of the game for the Germans to restore the four-goal lead. After the Wolf goal, Germany forward Daniel Menge put in another two goals less than 30 seconds apart to blow an 8-2 lead open. From that point Germany had things well under control, going on to the 11-3 win. Austria - Great Britain 6-1 (0-1, 4-0, 2-0, 0-0)
Thanks to four, second quarter goals, Austria kept its place in the top division after defeating Great Britain, 6-1.

The Austrians overcame a sluggish start, after falling behind on a first quarter, Great Britain power-play goal. It took over 13 minutes for Austria to get on the scoreboard, but when they did, the floodgates opened as they poured in four goals in a seven-minute span to break out to a strong 4-1 lead. Mark Brunnenegger led the charge, scoring twice in the surge.

After falling behind, Great Britain never regrouped and failed to find the back of the net for the rest of the game. Austria started the second half with a quick goal to make it a 5-1 game, but also seemed to lose momentum as one last third period goal, followed by a scoreless fourth quarter, brought the final score to 6-1.

All four teams from today’s qualification round now return to playoff action in their respective divisions. Germany and Austria will play as the lowest seeds in the quarterfinals of the top division. Germany will face Slovenia, while Austria will meet USA in the tomorrow’s game. Meanwhile, Canada and Great Britain are the top seeds in Division I. Canada will play Bulgaria and Great Britain will take on New Zealand in the first playoff round.

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