In front of a sold-out home crowd, the host Germans got off to a dream start at the 2017 World Hockey Championship with a 2-1 win over the United States.
Tobias Rieder and Patrick Hager scored the goals for Germany, who impressed in front of 18,600 boisterous fans at the Lanxess Arena in Cologne. Isles netminder Thomas Greiss was terrific in goal, stopping 42 of 43 shots.
The lone U.S. marker came from captain Connor Murphy.
Though it’s only the first game and hardly catastrophic for the U.S., today’s result is still a significant accomplishment for a German side featuring just three NHLers (Rieder, Greiss and Dennis Seidneberg). It toppled an American squad featuring the likes of Johnny Gaudreau, Jack Eichel and Dylan Larkin up front.
What’s more, the U.S. men came into this tourney sitting fourth in the IIHF rankings, while Germany was 10th.
Looking ahead, the Americans will look to regroup during Saturday’s off-day before returning to action Sunday with a game against Denmark. Germany, meanwhile, will hope to carry over some momentum from today into its next two games, which are tough ones — Saturday against Sweden, and Monday against Russia.