For the Germans, it's about coming back from a very disappointing showing from Italy in 2006 where they didn't even win a single game. Even though perhaps they biggest disappointment was that they weren't even able to beat the host Italians in the Group Stage where everyone was expecting them to get beat pretty bad in all their games.
In addition to having a strong Olympic tournament, they also looking to be a build up for the 2010 Ice Hockey World Championships that the German Cities of Mannheim and Cologne. In addition, an attempt at a world attendance record when the Germans will play the USA at the home of the FC Schalke Soccer Team in Gelsenkirchen for the tournament's opening game.
After the 6 NHL'ers which include superstars Marco Sturm and Marcel Goc, the rest of the roster will be made up of players that play in the DEL which is the German Top League. One of the big controversy of the German players is that they have the highest number of players that are not naturally born in Germany, as the team has 8 players that were moved in.
However, they have been checked out and their eligibility is fine and all have them have been cleared. Of the 8 players, 4 moved from Canada, 2 moved from Austria, while two others (1 each) moved from Kazakhstan and the Czech Republic.
Among the goalies, Thomas Greiss should be the starter as he is the only NHLer among the goalies. After spending the last 2 years with the Worcester Sharks (AHL), he's getting a chance as a backup for the San Jose Sharks and has played well in his few chances he's gotten a 6-4-0 record with a pretty strong 2.47 GAA and a .918 SV% this season and has been a steady hand with the team when called upon this season. Challenging him will be Dimtri Patzold who plays for the Ingolstadt Panthers and Dennis Endras for the Augsburg Tigers.
The forwards have a couple of surprising cuts as Buffalo's Jochen Hecht and Atlanta Defensemen Christoph Schubert that would have helped out the German hopes of bringing them to Vancouver for the Winter Olympic Tournament. In an interview with the German Sport Agency SID said when making up the roster "If a player over there (In North America) plays a marginal role and gets only a little ice time, it's absolutely possible that we will take a player to the Olympics who plays a bigger role in Germany or elsewhere in Europe."
Another player who's playing in the American Hockey League with the Portland Pirates, who's hoping to use this tournament to improve his stock in the Buffalo system is Phillip Gogulla. Who's playing in his 1st season in North America where after a strong showing for Kolner Haie in the German DEL the last 2 years, he has 6 goals and 14 assists so far this season through 47 games this season.
Germany is also going in a new mood in mind hoping to give some new players a shot to improve and become a regular on the national team. Only 12 players from last year's team that finished 15th at the IHWC are on this roster.
If it weren't for the Germans hosting the IHWC this season, they would have been relegated to the IHWC Division 1 Tournament this season. Also back this time last year, the Germans played Austria, Japan and Slovenia over at the TUI Arena in Hannover last year to get one of the 3 spots in the Qualification Tournaments.
Germany needs to show it's fans that they can put their recent IHWC and Olympic Disappointments behind them if the Germans are going to be able to go forward and steadily improve their national team so that eventually they league can get better.
Where they can get their Junior Teams in the World Junior Tournaments on a regular basis, and compete for major International Medals. The team has been disappointing so many times that it has affected the growth of the sport over sports like soccer and some of the other Winter Sports like skiing.
The Germans are in Group C with Sweden and Finland who will be in a rematch after the Northern Euro rivals faced off for the Gold Medal back in 2006.
It will be a tough road for the Germans with the lack of NHL players and even players in leagues like the KHL and AHL while the Swed's and Finns will have loads of experienced NHL players. And tons of experience for these players at both the International and Club levels with players winning everything from Olympic Medals to Stanley Cups and everything else in between.
Germany will face Sweden and Finland right out of the shoot before facing Belarus in what will be a huge game towards the hopes of going far once the tournament reaches the Knockout rounds later in the tournament.
Here's the player profiles of the North American Based Players
Marcel Goc (BUF): www.nhl.com/ice/player.htm?id=8469473&view=stats
Phillip Gogulla, Portland Pirates (AHL): http://theahl.com/stats/player.php?id=3247
Marco Sturm: (BOS): www.nhl.com/ice/player.htm?id=8464979&view=stats
Christian Ehrhoff (VAN): www.nhl.com/ice/player.htm?id=8469555&view=stats
Dennis Seidenberg (FLO): www.nhl.com/ice/player.htm?id=8469619&view=stats
Andrew Suzler (NSH): www.nhl.com/ice/player.htm?id=8470685&view=stats
Thomas Greiss (SJ): www.nhl.com/ice/player.htm?id=8471306&view=stats
Germany Group Stage Schedule
2/17: VS. Sweden 6:30 PM
2/19: VS. Finland 10:55 PM
2/20: VS. Belarus 10:55 PM
44: Dennis Endras, 6'0" 167, 7/14/1986, Immenstadt GER, Augsburg Panthers (DEL,GER)
1: Tomas Greiss, 6'1" 190, 1/29/1986, Fussen GER, San Jose Sharks (NHL)
32: Dimitri Patzold, 6'0" 195, 2/3/1983, Ust-Kameogorsk KAZ, ERC Ingolstadt (DEL, GER)
2: Michael Bakos, 6'3" 190, 3/2/1979, Augusburg GER, ERC Ingolstadt (DEL, GER)
10: Christian Ehrhoff, 6'3" 190, 7/6/1979, Moers GER, Vancouver Canucks (NHL)
38: Jakub Ficenec, 5'11" 198, 2/11/1977, Rhadec Kralove CZE, ERC Ingolstadt (DEL, GER)
3: Jason Holland, 6'3" 219, 4/30/1976, Morinville AB, CAN, DEG Metro Stars (DEL, GER)
5: Korbinian Holzer, 6'3" 190, 2/16/1988, Munich GER, DEG Metro Stars (DEL, GER)
7: Chris Schmidt, 6'3" 200, 3/1/1976, Beaver Lodge AB CAN, Adler Mannheim (DEL, GER)
84: Dennis Seidenberg, 6'1" 210, 7/18/1981, Schwenninger GER, Florida Panthers (NHL)
52: Alexander Sulzer, 6'1" 198, 5/30/1984, Kaufbeuren GER, Nashville Predators (NHL)
29: Alexander Barta, 5'10" 158, 2/2/1983, Berlin GER, Hamburg Freezers (GER, DEL)
11: Sven Felski, 5'10" 167, 11/18/1974, Berlin GER, Eisbaren Berlin (GER, DEL)
57: Marcel Goc, 6'1" 205, 8/24/1983, Calw GER, Nashville Predators (NHL)
87: Philip Gogulla, 6'2" 176, 7/31/1987, Dusseldorg GER, Portland Pirates (AHL)
39: Thomas Greilinger, 5'11" 211, 8/6/1981, Deggendordf GER, ERC Ingolstadt (DEL, GER)
9: Manuel Klinge, 5'10" 176, 9/5/1984, Kassel GER, Kassel Huskies (DEL, GER)
25: Marcel Muller, 6'3" 220, 7/10/1988, Berlin GER, Kolner Haie (DEL, GER)
15: Travis James Mulock, 6'0" 190, 6/25/1985, Langley BC CAN, Eisbaren Berlin (DEL, GER)
24: Andre Rankel, 6'1" 196, 8/27/1985, Berlin GER, Eisbaren Berlin (DEL, GER)
19: Marco Sturm, 6'0" 190, 9/8/1978, Dingolfing GER, Boston Bruins (NHL)
21: John Tripp, 6'2" 215, 5/4/1977, Kingston ON, CAN, Hamburg Freezers (GER, DEL)
16: Michael Wolf, 5'10" 165, 1/24/1981, Ehenbichi AUT, Iserlohn Roosters (GER, DEL)
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