International Ice Hockey Federation

New Germany, new results?

New Germany, new results?

Cortina’s team with many rookies

Published 10.05.2014 09:07 GMT+3 | Author John Sanful
New Germany, new results?
Germany head coach Cortina has boldly chosen many new players. Photo: Richard Wolowicz / HHOF-IIHF Images
Germany is making significant changes. The youthful squad will likely not yield the intended result right away but transforms the team in the years to come.


Washington Capitals draftee Philipp Grubauer split the season with the Hershey Bears in the American Hockey League and the Capitals. With the Capitals, Grubauer won 6 of the 17 games he participated.

Rob Zepp is making his third World Championship appearance. He registered two shutouts in six games at the 2013 tournament. In each of his international appearances for Germany (World Championships and Olympic Qualifier). Zepp’s goals against average has been less that two goals per game.

Danny aus den Birken will be given the chance to compete for time in goal. Aus den Birken’s performance for Kolner Haie was impressive with his 1.60 goals against average in 17 playoff games despite his team losing in the DEL finals.


Defensively, Germany needs solid contributions from its current roster of players. Torsten Ankert scored a goal in his first World Championship tournament in 2013. Ankert played all seven of Germany’s games last year. Constantin Braun returns for the first time since 2011. Frank Hordler makes his sixth World Championship appearance. The 29-year-old Hordler made his debut at the 2007 World Championships in Russia. Sinan Akdag, Benedikt Kohl, Justin Krueger, Moritz Muller and Denis Reul all made the cut.

Missing Christian Erhoff is a big concern. He was easily the best defenceman and possibly overall player on the team. Erhoff is recovering from a concussion.


Continue reading

At the 2013 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship, Germany scored 13 total goals with nine coming from forwards. Only Norway and Slovenia scored less. Germany also ranked dead last in scoring efficiency. Marcus Kink led all forwards with three goals.

There are six forwards making their debut at the World Championship. 22-year-old Matthias Plachta, 21-year-old Tobias Rieder and 21-year-old Yasin Ehliz will gain from their experience and given their ages, perhaps future national team fixtures.

Two players still in their teens also make their debut. 18-year-olds Dominik Kahun and Leon Draisaitl should be interesting to watch. Draisaitl, the son of former national team player Peter Draisaitl, was Germany’s best player at the 2013 World Junior Championship in Ufa, Russia. He was impressive in his second season of junior hockey with the Prince Albert Raiders of the WHL. Draisaitl scored 105 points for the Raiders, a team that has produced notable NHL players including Mike Modano. Draisaitl is also eligible for the NHL draft and can possibly impact his draft standing depending on how he plays at this senior tournament.

Returnees include Kai Hospelt, Frank Mauer, Yannic Seidenberg and Felix Schutz. Alexander Barta leads all active players with 146 matches. Germany will be without John Tripp who had elbow surgery once the German league season ended.


Pat Cortina assumed responsibility for the national team and has embraced the need for change at the men’s senior level counting on the youth movement to take hold in Germany. In test matches prior to the start of the tournament, Germany has shown much promise with shutout wins over Russia (3-0) and Switzerland (2-0) before dropping their final match 3-1 against the United States.

Cortina previously coached the national teams of Italy and Hungary. Niklas Sundblad will be Cortina’s assistant. Sundblad was drafted in the first round of the 1991 NHL Entry Draft by the Calgary Flames. He was a member of the Swedish teams that won the U20 World Championships in 1992 and 1993 and a participant on the men’s national team that won the 1997 World Championship.

Projected Results

Germany is possibly entering a new phase of its existence. This tournament will be a critical test as to how they proceed further along this path. Their opening games against Kazakhstan and Latvia are opportunities to get off to a strong start. Much will be revealed in how Germany approaches these games. Despite the obvious growing pains this roster will face, Germany should prevail and stay competitive among the top group of competing nations.


Back to Overview

Official Partners 2014 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship