It was the 7th win in a row over the Germans in U20 play going back to 2008.
Although the Germans were thoroughly outplayed and badly outshot, forward Joshua Samanski scored the goal of the tournament so far, going coast to coast for Germany's only goal at 13:12 of the third with the score already 5-0. He dipsied and doodled through the entire U.S. team before beating goalie Kaidan Mbereko with what was only the team's ninth shot of the game.
In all, Mbereko, making his World Juniors debut after being the backup last December, faced just 11 shots, while his counterpart, Nikita Quapp, faced a barrage of 50 shots.
"I think we had some stuff to work on following the two exhibitions, and I think we found ways to correct that in this game," said Landon Slaggert, who had a goal and an assist for the victors. "It's a good first step. We still have a ways to go, but it's definitely good to lay that first brick and get going in the tournament. I thought we were great on the defensive end, and that came with our work ethic on the way back, backchecking and hunting. It really showed in the shot totals."
"They started off pretty well," admitted German captain Maximilian Glotzl. "They came like a firework on us. We didn't compete hard enough. We didn't get the important pucks out of our zone. We got some stupid penalties where the momentum changed and then they got on the board. So we need to fix that for tomorrow against Austria. What we did in the last period, we have to build on this for tomorrow."
Thomas Bordeleau made a nifty pokecheck deep in the German end, and the puck came back to Luke Hughes at the point. His quick shot beat the beleaguered Quapp stick side.
About a minute later, Germany registered their first shot on Mbereko, who had a 2-0 record in U18 play in 2021 prior to joining the World Junior team..
Germany put themselves in an even deeper hole soon after when Bennet Rossmy took a five-minute major and game misconduct for a hit to the head. It didn’t take long for the Americans to capitalize, Logan Cooley knocking in his own rebound after a sensational save from Quapp on the initial shot, a quick tip of a Matt Coronato pass.
As strong as he was in the first, Quapp allowed a couple of quick goals early in the second that had an odour to them. Landon Slaggert made it 3-0 at 1:21 when his shot from the goal line somehow eluded Quapp. Just 36 seconds later, a similar goal played out. Riley Duran took a shot from almost the same spot as Slaggert, and although the goalie made the save he couldn’t control the rebound and Red Savage poked it in.
The Americans thought they had added to their tally at 11:30 on a play that required a lengthy video review to confirm. A mad scramble in front on Quapp resulted in Coronato nudging the puck over the goal line. But after the referees called it a goal, German coach Tobias Abstreiter challenged the call on goalie interference – and the referees concurred, overturning the called goal and keeping it a 4-0 game.
No matter. Duran got the fifth U.S. goal with exactly one minute remaining in the period when his long wrist shot eluded Quapp, a shot the goalie should have stopped.
The Americans played solid defence in the third, excepting Samanski's sensational goal. They have the day off tomorrow before facing Switzerland on Thursday, but Germany is back at it tomorrow, taking on Austria in the final game of another three-game day in Edmonton.