The only two teams in the tournament who did not take part in the 2022 Olympics, their last World Championship meeting saw Germany win 3-0. This time however Hungary not only got on the scoreboard, but took the win.
Germany took a 2-0 lead within the first 11 minutes, with Luisa Welcke opening scoring off of a long pass up centre ice from Heidi Strompf. Playing on a line with her twin Lilli, who will join her at the University of Maine this fall, and centre Bernadette Karpf, this was a monumental moment for Welcke.
"It was a really good feeling to score on my first shift in my first senior World Championships. That felt pretty good," said Welcke.
"I don't know [why I scored], maybe it was my day," said Kiss-Simon. "I told the girls yesterday, it doesn't matter the result, we have to push and play until the game ends. The game wasn't really beautiful today, but I think we did our job."
Hungary demonstrated their ability to score in all situations in the second period, with Kiss-Simon scoring her second of the game on the power play. Despite failing to capitalize on a 5-on-3 powerplay, Hungary took a 3-2 lead into the third period with Kinga Jokai-Szilagyi scoring an unassisted shorthanded goal that deflected into the net off of the back of goaltender Franziska Albl’s leg.
"I think one important thing is that we answered with a quick goal after they scored their second. It gives a little bit of confidence," said Hungary's head coach Pat Cortina. "I think we started slow today, maybe a little nervous. We lacked a little courage to play, but we found that in the second period. What I'm really happy with is the way we competed and the fact that we didn't stop believeing after we were down 2-0. That's important for the rest of the tournament."
Both Albl and Hungary's Aniko Nemeth, who at 25 years old is already competing in her tenth World Championships, were kept busy with the back and forth play. Albl made 21 saves, while Nemeth stopped 26.
"I think we had some good situations, we had some good chances, we just didn't use them enough," said Welcke. "We started our first period good, but after we got a goal we kind of went a little bit hectic and we didn't play as we said we would, so next time we'll have to stick with our plan and use our chances."
Germany made a strong push in the final five, with the Welcke twins nearly connecting on a cross-ice pass in front of Hungary's net. Mira Seregely took a penalty for an illegal hit with four minutes remaining, but the Hungarian penalty kill unit made it nearly impossible for Germany to get a shot through on net. Seregely solidified Hungary's second ever Top Division win with an empty-net goal with 9.4 seconds remaining.
"We need to take the courage we had in the second and third period and play and not really worry about winning or losing," Cortina said of what Hungary needs to continue to do in their next game. "We were a little nervous, we weren't really on task. They scored early so we sort of turtled a little bit, but we found the courage and were rewarded for it."