HALIFAX Ė Germanyís Philip Gogulla has established himself as a presence on the senior national team. Although only 20, Gogulla has impressed with his playmaking skills. In this his second tour with the national team, Gogulla has totaled 7 assists in World Championship play since 2007. IIHF.comís John Sanful spoke with Gogulla about Germanyís big win over Slovakia, and shooting more.
Thoughts on win over Slovakia. Your team put together a really solid effort.
Gogulla: It was great. We played our system and did not take any stupid penalties, which is important in these types of games. That was key today.
Youíre team scored two power play goals in the first period, which really sets the stage.
Gogulla: It does. It is good for our confidence. It helped us going into the second period knowing we had a two-goal lead and that meant everything in how we played the rest of the way.
Did you feel confident coming into your game against Slovakia?
Gogulla: Yes. We already played twice against Slovakia in tournaments and felt really confident about our chances.
Any difference playing this year in the World Championships for you?
Gogulla: In Moscow we had a wider rink but here in North America is smaller. It is a different game. I think because itís different we have to play stronger defense as that will be the key for us being successful the rest of the way through the tournament. I think you saw that against Slovakia.
In watching you play, you seem more of a playmaker than a shooter. Am I right?
Gogulla: Yes, I guess I am. I probably should shoot more but the goal that made it 3-1, I saw Michael Hackert on my right side and gave him a nice pass. You have to get the puck to skaters in a position to score, and that's what I like to do.
What are some of the important things you will carry into the next game.
Gogulla: One thing was that we played more physical against Slovakia. We took the body, as we should. I think as this tournament moves on it is important for us to play smart. If we play like we did against Slovakia and stay away from bad penalties, hopefully we will defeat Norway.