World Championships News

Eisenschmid scores the winner in OT



Markus Eisenschmid scored at 2:00 of overtime to give Germany a 3-2 win over Finland in Group B action in Herning. The OT win, though, means Germany’s playoff hopes are gone, while Finland can still finish first in the group with a regulation-time win over the U.S. on Tuesday.

Kasperi Kapanen made a great rush and almost won the game for Finland in OT, but as play came the other way a two-on-one quickly developed, and Dominik Kahun made the pass to set up Eisenschmid for the winner.

The Finns tied the game, 2-2, on a late power play when Sebastian Aho converted a one-timer off a no-look pass through the slot by Mikael Granlund with only 2:06 remaining in regulaton time.

Coach Marco Sturm played a hunch and started Mathias Niederberger in goal. Playing his first game with the senior national team, Niederberger was sensational. Finland outshot the Germans, 38-15, but Niederberger was the difference time and again.

“Their goalie was making big saves and moving really well,” said Mikko Rantanen. “He was their best player.”

“You get a lot of shots and it keeps you focused on the game,” Niederberger said. “That was good for me today. Our team battled today. We did not gert a lot of chances, but they ones we got were quality.”

“It is nice he got in the game, and his first at the World Championships,” enthused Yannic Seidenberg. “He played great in our league and earned his spot on this team.”

Germany closes out its tournament on Tuesday as well, playing Canada in a game that means something only for Canada.

Finland drew first blood early, giving a false sense of what was to unfold this night. Eeli Tolvanen patiently cut through the middle of the slot and watched as Niederberger overplayed him, then fired a wrist shot to the back side, beating the goalie over the glove at 2:26.

Daniel Pietta had a great chance moments later for Germany, but he blasted a shot wide.

Finland controlled the period and outshot Germany 11-2, but Suomi couldn’t get that second goal to give it a little breathing room.

Germany got on the board at 5:56 of the second off a scrambly play. The Germans won a faceoff and a point shot was stopped in front by Finnish forward Janne Pesonen but he failed to clear.

Instead, Fredrik Tiffels got his stick on the puck, spun, and whipped the puck past Husso to tie the score.

Although Finland continued to attack, Niederberger was solid and sensational when needed, and then with les than two minutes to go in the second, Bjorn Krupp put Germany ahead. His long shot floated by several bodies in front, and Husso had no idea where the puck was until it hit the inside of the goal.

Shots after 40 minutes favoured Finland, 25-8, but Germany was ahead, 2-1.

The Germans played a dangerous game in the third, sitting on the lead and collapsing around Niederberger in the hopes of winning, 2-1. But Finland was relentless, finally drawign a late penalty that led to the tying goal.

ANDREW PODNIEKS



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May 14, 2018

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