Germany beat the United States 5-2 on Sunday to win the Deutschland Cup, Marco Sturm’s first tournament since taking the jobs of GM and coach last summer.
Dominik Kahun, Patrick Hager and Phillip Gogulla each bent the twine in the first 20 minutes of play, staking Germany to a 3-0 lead going into the first intermission.
Tim Stapleton closed the gap to two for the Americans halfway through the second, but David Wolf struck for the Germans shortly afterwards to reestablish the three-goal lead. Ryan Stoa scored to keep the Americans within reach just before the end of the period.
There was no scoring in the third until the last minute when David Wolf got his second, this time into an empty net after the Americans had pulled their goalie.
In their previous two matches, the Germans had dropped a 3-2 decision to Switzerland before finding their game against Slovakia, whom they beat convincingly 4-2.
The new coach and GM was pleased with the way his team performed in the annual mini-tournament.
“Everybody trained well, all did their bit,” Sturm told broadcaster Sport1 after the final game. “It was a lot of fun, we deserved to win.”
At the same time he noted that “there are still some things that we have to do better. There is still some time until the World Championship and we plan to use it”.
The coach, who played more than 1,000 games in the NHL before hanging up his skates in 2013, now has six months to prepare for Germany’s first serious test under his leadership – the World Championship, which is to be held in Russia next May. Just as important will be the Olympic qualifying tournament in Riga next September.
The DEB German ice hockey association hopes the hiring of Sturm will mark a turnaround in the fortunes of the national team after three disappointing years under former coach Pat Cortina, when the Germans failed to qualify for Sochi and finished 10th at last year’s World Championship in the Czech Republic.
DEB President Franz Reindl hired Sturm shortly after he had taken the helm at the association earlier this year. While it is clear that the Deutschland Cup is not a real measuring stick, the DEB president liked what his saw this past weekend.
“He (Marco) has clear body language, I like what he is doing with the team,” Reindl said.