Germany stays up with OT win
by Andrew Podnieks|04 JAN 2024
Germany celebrates its dramatic overtime vicotry over Norway to stay in the top pool for 2025.
photo: Matt Zambonin/IIHF
Moritz Elias scored the "top level golden goal" 58 seconds into overtime to give Germany a 5-4 win over Norway this afternoon at the Scandinavium.

The win assures the Germans a place in Ottawa next year while Norway, just promoted to the top level this year for the first time in a decade, is relegated. They have played in the top pool only three times since 2006.

The one-game showdown was massively important for both programs. Indeed, the last time these teams faced each other at the World Juniors was back in 2014 in the best-of-three relegation round, Germany prevailing in the deciding match.

Norway showed incredible determination, coming back from being down 1-0, 2-1, and, in the third, 4-2.

"It was kind of hard for us, mentally," said German forward Eric Hordler. "Three times we went ahead, and three times they tied it. But then Moritz scored a beautiful goal for us, so it's okay. We spent a lot of time looking at how they play, what their strengths are and what are not. And we talked about our game, playing easy and simple hockey. And play with confidence. Staying in the top is so much more important than just the games. It's important for the national program as well."

"We came out hard and played a good first period and an even better second period," said Martin Johnsen of Norway. "But I have no words now. It's tough. Next year, we'll be in Slovenia, but I think we'll be the best team so we can play more with the puck and come back here after. We have some good 2005-born guys so I think they'll do a good job and bring us back up."

Veit Oswald and captain Phillip Sinn each had a goal and two assists for the winners.

The game started off slowly, few scoring chances and little pace, but the Germans scored first on a two-on-one. Julius Sumpf made a fine backhand saucer pass to Kevin Bicker, and he snapped a high shot over the glove of Markus Stensrud for his first goal of the tournament.

Norway played solid defence, though, and managed to tie the game off a quick play by Noah Steen behind the German goal. He corralled a shot that had gone wide and made a wraparound before Matthias Bittner could get over to the post.

The second period was a repeat of the first, with a twist—Norway was by far the better and more determined team. Still, it was Germany that took the lead again, this time at 8:59 on a nice play from Oswald. He took a long pass from Hordler and drove around his man, and as Stensrud went down he held onto the puck and slid it under the goalie’s pads.

After that goal, however, the period belonged ot Norway. They almost tied the game soon after when Bittner bobbled a simple shot, but Johnsen’s shot was tipped over the net. Norway kept pressing, though, and had possession in the Germany end for long stretches. Eventually, they were rewarded, and in a scramble Johnsen spotted Mats Bakke Olsen alone in front. He had an open net and didn’t miss.

In the third the Germans scored not only once midway throgh but a second goal just 48 seconds later--and it still wasn't enough. The first, at 9:58, came on a shot from defender Sinn. His routine shot eluded Stensrud and dribbled into the net. Then, a bad giveaway led to several chances for Germany a minute later, Niklas Hubner finishing things off with a high shot to Stensrud's glove side.

But Norway continued to fight. They got a power play a few minutes later and connected when Michael Brandsegg-Nygard snapped a one-timer in at 14:19. Less than two minutes later, they tied it, Bakke Olsen smacking in a back-door pass perfectly. 

That set the stage for overtime, and it didn't take long for Elias to find the back of the next and send his team to Canada for 2025.
Germany vs Norway (Rel.) - 2024 IIHF World Junior Championship