Lukas Reichel has had an eventful week. Last Sunday, he was thrown out of the playoffs of the American Hockey League (AHL) with his club, the Rockford Ice Hogs. The so-called exit meetings followed, where he was likely given the prospect of further assignments in the NHL premium league for the upcoming season if he continued to work so diligently; this season there were eleven for the Chicago Blackhawks, whose organization he is a part of. Then: PCR test, flight to the ice hockey World Cup – so Reichel was in Helsinki in time on Thursday to experience the fire alarm in Helsingin Jäähalli before the match against Denmark. “Of course it was a bit of a shock,” he said Friday. “But I would say: won 1-0, very solid. You can build on that.”
On Friday, striker Reichel, who turned 20 on Tuesday, was to be on the ice for the first time against Italy, as was defender Leon Gawanke (Manitoba), who also traveled later. “I’m feeling really good, better than I thought,” he said after the morning workout. “I also think Leon is pretty fit. We’re ready to go.” You could say that. The Germans literally overcame Italy in the first third, eventually it was 9: 4 (4: 0, 2: 1, 3: 3) for Germany. The place in the World Cup quarter-finals is only mathematically in danger.
After the difficult tasks at the beginning of the tournament against Canada (3: 5) and the Olympic bronze winners Slovakia (2: 1), the hard-earned victories against France (3: 2) and Denmark, Italy and Kazakhstan, 16th and 15th world rankings, two supposedly easier challenges. But there is a danger in that, national coach Toni Söderholm had warned: to believe that it has become a matter of course to win. “We will have to give everything,” he warned. Reichel and Gawanke replaced former NHL defender Korbinian Holzer and Leo Pföderl, the successful Berlin attacking series of the 2021 World Cup with Pföderl, Reichel and Marcel Noebels still having to wait for their reunion. Mathias Niederberger was in goal again this time, Philipp Grubauer was allowed to breathe a day after his shutout against Denmark; Dustin Strahlmeier from Wolfsburg took his place on the bench for the first time at this World Cup.
Have fun cheers! Okay, one more goes in!
The stadium DJ did his best to warm up the atmosphere and played the finest Italian disco dunk while the two teams warmed up, just like the midweek at Oktoberfest, popularly known as “Italian Weekend”. However, the Germans quickly proved to be humorless killers, at least for the Italians’ party atmosphere. World Cup debutant Alexander Karachun surprised Davide Fadani in Azzurri’s goal with a shot from the turn (6 ‘), defender Kai Wissmann tried his luck as a striker without any resistance to speak of and finished a solo elegantly with his backhand through Fadani’s legs (7’), Yasin Ehliz deflected a shot and made it 3-0 (14th). The German fans gradually sang in Wiesn mood.
For Fadani, on the other hand, the party ended early. He snuck off the ice like a young man drinking three beers on his ex when he first visited the beer tent. Substitute Justin Fazio remained dry for 4:44 minutes, after which Daniel Fischbuch overcame him to 4: 0 (18th). Italy threatened with lightning.
Anyone looking for fake tones found: nothing. Reichel had delivered his first template, Gawanke accelerated the game with hard, accurate passes. The Germans had served a very tasty first 20 minutes.
The Italians opened the second period with three shots on goal, which Niederberger no longer bothered. Then the Germans pulled up the next powerplay – at five against five. You should give everything. Immediately after, they were actually allowed to play with one more man. They had to spend 27 seconds until Noebels Reichel found free in front of goal (26th). 5: 0 was a Berlin combination right out of a polar bear picture book. The Italians, however, did in return this time. Small prestige success: For Tommaso Traversa’s 5: 1, they even only needed 26 seconds (26th). With this respectful distance, both teams now seemed to be able to become friends. Why push yourself unnecessarily? Have fun cheers! Well, you go, you go in: Daniel Fischbuch increased his second goal to 6: 1 (35th), the fine assist gave Reichel again.
It continued as at the beer festival: at one point, all contours were blurred. Ehliz also scored another goal (47 ‘), then it was Karachun’s turn again (43’), 8: 1, Italy urgently needed a time-out and then scored two goals (48 ‘/ 50’), another was revoked for offside. There fell a few inhibitions in the German defense, it went back and forth like a tent fight. Samuel Soramies scored (58th), Alex Petan also (60th), so 9: 4 from the previous year was accurately reproduced. And when the day was just so beautiful that it would never end, it was over.
Should France lose to Denmark on Saturday, the German team can go to their penultimate group match against Kazakhstan on Sunday (15.20) without pressure. The quarterfinals at this World Cup are not to be taken from her.