Only the top three teams advance from Group B, but the last two teams won’t be relegated this year either.
"We played really well in the first period," said Germany coach Thomas Schadler. "We stuck to our game plan. It was the best period in the tournament for us so far. But in the second period the Danes started to forecheck us much harder and they gave us problems with our breakout under pressure. They never give up, but we played well at the end of the third, and we're happy with the win."
"They did a great job," Theresa Wagner said of the Danes. "They fight for every puck. They made it difficult for us, especially in the third period."
It was clear from the early going the Danes were going to have a tough time. They became just the 17th team to play a WW period without registering a shot on goal when they failed to test Jennifer Harss even once in the first period. Germany had six on Cassandra Repstock-Romme, and the combined total of six set a new World Women’s record for the fewest shots by both teams in a period.
One German shot found the back of the net, however, and that was credited to Julia Zorn, who started her IIHF career as a goaltender at the 2008 WW18. Tonight, she corralled a loose puck just inside the Denmark blue line, used defender Josephine Asperup as a screen, and beat Repstock-Romme between the pads at 12:30. In the final minute, Zorn nearly made it 2-0 when she intercepted a careless pass and went in alone. Her sharp shot rang off the post and stayed out, though.
"We were on our heels in the first period," admitted Danish captain Josephine Jakobsen. "We weren't ready, but in the second half we played better. We just didn't score."
Just like that, the chance for Denmark was gone. Jule Schiefer made it 2-0 for Germany at 8:08 when she made good on a rebound off a long shot from Yvonne Rothemund.
"I saw Lena pass it up to Yvonne and she shot it. I went to the front of the net, and it hit me, but I just put it in the empty net," Schiefer related.
Three minutes later, Anna Reich made a fantastic play, moving to the centre of the ice at the point and finding Theresa Wagner to the back side of the play. Her hard pass was nicely redirected by Wagner into the open side, and Denmark’s inability to capitalize on its early chances now saw the team in a deep 3-0 hole.
Early in the third, Denmark again had some pressure. Michelle Weis made a great rush, fighting off a check from Reich and getting a nice shot off, but again Harss was that little bit better.
The Danes finally got on the board at 7:18 thanks to a German turnover along the boards in their own end. Weis was right there, and fired a smart pass to Jakobsen, who was alone in front. She made a nice deke on Harss and roofed the puck, giving her team a well-deserved goal. It was the first goal Harss allowed after 107:18 of shutout hockey to start this tournament.
"A hockey game is sixty minutes," Denmark coach Peter Elander lamented. "I think that the first period we were in our own end too much. In the second period, we stepped up. They got two goals, but we deserved a better result from that, and in the third we were all over them. It was a good lesson for us, but I'm extremely proud of the whole team, especially their resilience after being down 3-0. They kept working and showed a lot of mental toughness."
Denmark finishes the preliminary round on Wednesday with a game against Hungary while the Germans play the Czechs earlier that same day.