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World Cup defeat to the USA: a blow to the German ice hockey team – Sports

World Cup defeat to the USA: a blow to the German ice hockey team – Sports

Psychological warfare is a risky tactic. You can read about it in “The Dispute over Asterix” when the Roman dissident Tullius Destructivus (poisonous green speech bubbles!) tries to infiltrate the Gallic village with envy and distrust. “You have all the qualities required to participate in the first attack in psychological warfare,” he whistled into the ear of the legionnaire who bore the eloquent name of Taupinus. However, Taubenus, a stupid idiot with a “gorilla face and swine eyes” (witness statement Rene Goscinny), only understands the Destructivus' tactics a quarter to a half—and kills his comrades one by one with his club.

The 6:1 match against the United States, coming just one day after an impressive 6:4 win over Slovakia at the start of the World Cup in Ostrava, hit the German ice hockey players like a blow from the Taupinus club. Fortunately, the national team works with better methods. Tom Cusack, a Munich sports psychologist who looked after national coach Harold Kreis's team on its way to a silver medal at the World Cup in 2023, said the main task before the World Cup was to ease the burden of expectations on the players. Because Germany's first World Cup medal in 70 years has not only increased interest but also expectations. Those from outside (fans, media), but also those from the players themselves.

“We made it very easy for them,” says Captain Mueller.

The 1:6 match against the title favorites, the United States, began immediately after the final siren. Captain Moritz Muller said: “It is important to finish the match, analyze it, recharge your mental strength, and then attack again on Monday.” Finally, the next big match awaits us on Monday (8:20pm, Pro7 and Magentasport) with the Swedes.

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Müller, a veteran player with 206 caps to date, tried a suppressive approach: “There was something missing today,” the 37-year-old said. “Maybe the score is a bit high. But we said we're not doing that.” You want to “look very much at the results.” That was a little white lie, first of all White lie, As they say in the English-speaking world, Mueller's statement also sounded innocently white. It was very easy to decipher as a precautionary claim. Following the 4-3 win in the final pre-World Cup friendly against France, Muller was asked how important this success – the third in five defeats – was. Now the test matches are matches of limited importance, but Muller answered frankly: “If we had lost, I would have said: It is not that important.” Winning the final preparatory match makes it easier to travel to the tournament. Victories are good for the psyche.

On the other hand, the world doesn't end immediately after a defeat, especially against a Team USA team that includes 21 NHL players. “These aren't just NHL players, they're superstars,” said Johnny Gaudreau (Columbus), Seth Jones (Chicago), Trevor Zegras (Anaheim), or captain Brady Tkachuk (Ottawa), who scored the leading 1-0 goal. . Defender Kai Vismann, captain of German champions Berlin, is an expert in team leadership. But Wiesmann also said: “The game is over, we can't change it anymore. Whether we lose 2-1 or 6-1, we don't have any points either way.” Or rather, three goals from the match against Slovakia, good for the back of your head. Last year, the German team suffered three defeats at the start and was under much more pressure.

Three seconds before the end of the first half the score was 1:4: “Stupid timing,” says Kai Wessmann

After the first wave of American pressure, the German team entered the match better. Wojciech Stachowiak hit the post, Leo Pföderl showed a masterpiece, and the shooting percentage after two-thirds was almost even, 26:22 for the USA. From a German point of view, the score after 40 minutes was 1:4. “We made it very easy for them,” Captain Mueller said. There was also bad luck: when Yassine Ehles shot the ball over the goal line to make the score 1:3 and the Germans wanted to prepare for the final third, the score was 1:4 three seconds before the siren sounded at the end of the first half. What is often considered an inappropriate time psychologically. “That was really stupid timing,” Kay Weissman said. The last third was just damage control.

Defenders Fabio Wagner and Maximilian Zuber, as well as NHL forward Nico Sturm, suffered injuries from the fierce duel with the Slovaks and were not fit to play against the United States. But national coach Chris did not want to make their absence a problem. First: No excuses. Second: Do not challenge those after you.

Chris, a former defense attorney, chose an aggressive approach to resolving the conflict: confessing and vowing to get better. He said: “We faced a problem with the balance between attack and defense today, and we chased the goal a lot.” The United States knows how to speed up the game and slow it down. This is exactly how they lured his team into the trap.

'What was before was before': Kai Visman also believes he has a chance of beating 11-time world champion Sweden. (Photo: Lukash Sobala/Newspeaks/Imago)

“It wasn't our best day,” Chris said. But there's a new one on Monday. “The match against the Americans was a good preparation for the next match against Sweden,” Chris said. He sounded remarkably confident. Sweden, the 11-time world champion, has not lost a World Cup match to Germany in 32 years, and for this reason DEB has just two wins in 37 World Cup duels on its books. But it's over. “What's before is what came before,” Kai Visman reminded. “Of course we won't go into the game as favourites, so you have to stay realistic. We need every player to have their best day, and with a little luck we will achieve that.” “You'll have a chance to do that to win the game.” Just as happened in 2018, when the Germans defeated the then world champions 4-3 in the Olympic quarter-finals en route to a historic silver medal.

“We will do it again, it's a long tournament,” Harold Kreis confirmed. The national coach meant that Wagner, Szuber and Sturm were injured. But psychologist Chris seemed mainly constructive.