dGerman ice hockey players narrowly missed out on the World Cup semi-finals. Against the Czechs, clear favorites, national coach Jeff MacLeod's team lost 0-1 (0-0, 0-0, 0-1) on Thursday in Utica, USA, despite an outstanding goalkeeper Sandra Abstreiter.

After the best group stage of the World Cup so far, with four successes, Germany appeared confident and combative. MacLeod's team were also dangerous in front of the opposition's goal and had some good chances. In November 2023, the DEB team found itself against itself in the 0:8 debacle Czech Republic He had absolutely no chance of playing in the German Cup.

Deniers in exceptional form

Once again goalkeeper Abstreiter was in exceptional form. The 25-year-old player, Ottawa's only German player in the newly created North American professional league, saved her team from conceding a goal with numerous saves. In the second third, the goalkeeper made several brilliant clearances against the Czechs who were freely in front of her.

The DEB team was lucky in the 51st minute. The trio of referees decided the Czech Republic's goal. After studying the video it became clear: the puck hit the crossbar. Two minutes later, Daniela Pejšová fired a shot past the outstanding defender. German captain Daria Gleissner missed the best opportunity to equalize five minutes before the end: her shot hit the post.

The Germans also lost. The world runners-up lost to the World Cup hosts 0:3 (0:1, 0:1, 0:1) in the first test match in preparation for the World Cup in the Czech Republic (May 10-26) Thursday in Karlovy Vary. On Saturday (17:10 on MagentaSport) the two nations will meet for the second time.

Without some high-level players who are still active in the playoffs and who joined the team during preparation, national coach Harold Kreis's team showed good approaches. In particular, the defense around Kölner Haien's strong goalkeeper Tobias Ancicka was in good shape. However, against the goal of the six-time world champion, the DEB team seemed too harmless.

Four phases in preparation

Despite being outnumbered, the Czech Republic took a 1-0 lead thanks to David Tomášek (13th minute). The 28-year-old also scored the only goal in the second third. The Czechs overtook the German defense and Tomášek only had to push the puck over the line (34'). Goalkeeper Ancicka prevented the third goal several times in the last half. Shortly before the end, Kreis brought another skater onto the ice for goalie Ancicka. But Tomášek scored his third goal and the final score was 0-3.

The national coach divided the preparation for the World Cup in the Czech Republic into four phases. The two international matches against the World Cup hosts will be followed by home games against Slovakia (April 18 and 20) and Austria (April 25 and 27). The World Cup squad should be together in the fourth phase. After the matches against France on May 4 and 6, the DEB team will travel to Ostrava, in the Czech Republic, on May 7. The World Cup for Germany begins on May 10 against Slovakia.