Germany in quarter-finals
Germany in quarter-finals
Braun goal lifts Sturm's boys
Germany last reached the quarter-finals in 2011.
To their credit, Hungary gave Germany all they could handle. Hungary was strong on the puck in the first period, generating key chances. Istvan Sofron and Istvan Bartalis both enjoyed fine individual performances as Hungary worked to make something happen.
"You always try to stay focused when you find out that you’ve qualified," Korbinian Holzer said. "We knew they were going to come out hard and we wanted to match their intensity. I think in the first period, we kind of lacked a little bit of a work ethic, which is unusual for us."
Sofron had the first best chance with a partial break on the German net but shot the puck just wide. Then as Sinan Akdag tried clearing the puck out of the German zone, he whiffed on his pass to create a chance for Daniel Koger. Thomas Greiss was there as the firewall in net. For Greiss it was his third consecutive start since arriving in St. Petersburg fresh from the NHL playoffs.
Sofron scored to put Hungary up 1-0 with a quick recovery of a loose puck. Bartalis gained the zone but lost the puck is trying to gain some space as he headed to the net. Sofron received the puck and deked backhand to forehand in finding the net. The goal came as both teams were playing in a 4-on-4 situation. Each side has a man in the box.
Bartalis worked to generate a few more chances, including a drive to the net that hit the post. In the period shots were almost even. Germany outshot Hungary 9-8.
Balint Magosi was called for hooking near the end of the first period and carried into the second. With seconds remaining on the Magosi penalty, Patrick Hager showed patience and scored to tie the game.
He waited, trying to see how things unfolded as he skated towards the net. Hager sent the puck across the slot where it hit Marton Vas in the leg as he was skating backwards trying to defend. The puck bounced off Vas’s leg and in the net to even things.
Miklos Rajna was an important factor in the second period as Germany stepped up its attack and put 14 shots on goal. Germany began sending waves of pressure that kept the Hungarian defencemen on their heels. Rajna had several key saves and a German shot hit the post but the score remained 1-1. German overwhelmingly outshot Hungary in the second period 14-3.
Germany took the lead at 1:22 of the third when Denis Reul scored. A loose puck squirted back towards the point to Reul who slapped it high and over Rajna for a 2-1 lead.
Kevin Wehrs brought Hungary level when he sent a rocket of a shot on net that found its way past Greiss. The ever-enthusiastic Hungary fans in the building erupted and the game was once again tied.
Germany kept the pressure on as well. When Hungary could not clear the puck out, Germany's relentless pressure led to Braun’s goal at 17:24. Leon Draisaitl chased the puck before it cleared the blueline and sent a pass to Akdag whose backhanded pass went to Braun at the point for a shot and a goal.
"I think in the third we kind of sat back instead of pressuring them, and we were not shooting enough." Bartalis said. "We let them take too many shots."
Marcel Goc added an empty netter at 19:27.
Germany finishes with 13 points and a third place finish in Group B. Marco Sturm’s first World Championship behind the bench as head coach of Germany has been revived optimism and enthusiasm for his nation's hockey program.
Hungary can hold their heads high. With a win, some driven performers and fan support, this Hungary's World Championship experience can be considered a successful journey to Russia. Hungary must now hope for a Belarus loss to France in regulation time tomorrow to stay in the top division.
"It’s tough because we had everything in our hands," Bartalis added. "We couldn’t achieve the points we wanted to. So we’re cheering for France."
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