Friday, May 7, 2010

USA Loses IHWC Opener in front of a World Record Audience

A new Guinness World Record was set with a crowd of a little over 77,000 as the Americans and host Germans played the opening game of the 2010 Ice Hockey World Championships at the Veltins-Arena in Gelsenkirchen. I

t was mostly a defensive showdown that was able to help keep the Germans in this game as the team was hoping to improve after a pair of bad showings at the 2010 Olympics and last year's IHWC in Switzerland.

In the end it was Florian Schutz who scored the game winner in OT to give the Germans their first 2 points in Group D Play. While the Americans got out with a point as both teams will play Finland and Denmark later on in the Group Stage.

From Alan Adams of the International Ice Hockey Federation:

U.S.A. 1 Germany 2 (OT) (0-0, 0-1, 1-0, 0-1)

U.S.A. VS. Germany Game Photos:

From Gelsenkirchen, Germany: What a way to start the 2010 World Championships for the host country. With a loud and boisterous world record crowd of 77,803 looking at the Veltins Arena, Felix Schutz tipped a shot just 21 seconds into overtime to give Germany a 2-1 victory in the opening game of the International Ice Hockey Federation's annual showcase event on Friday.

"It felt like more of a World Cup Soccer game then a hockey game," said Sven Butenschon. "When you hear a roar of nearly 80,000 people, it's a different noise."

"I was trying to yell to my linemates but they could not hear me," added USA Forward TJ Oshie.

The game had everything and anything the flag-waving fans who packed the home stadium of the fabled football team Schalke 04 could have asked for. First of all, Germany put in a solid effort in preventing the USA from extending its streak to six straight victories in the opening game of the World Championships.

Org. were hoping to break the old record of 74,554 spectators, set in a 2001 game between Michigan & Michigan State Universities, and they did just that, and a little more.

The history making audience also broke the World Championship record attendance of 55,000, set in the 1957 tournament in Moscow when the deciding game was played between the Soviets and Sweden which was played in the Luzhniki Stadium.

There was even a marriage proposal flashed across the big screen during the first intermission, with the bride-to-be beaming with joy in the stands as she said yes.

The Germans are known as a team that stresses defense over offense but had more scoring chances then their opponents and capitalized on a smart play to open the scoring. Germany was pressuring the USA when forward Marcel Muller won a race to a loose puck in the corner to their right of USA Goaltender Scott Clemmensen. Muller sent a cross-crease pass to Michael Wolf, who was hovering about one meter off the lip of the crease to Clemmensen's left, and all Clemmensen could do was watch as Wolf ripped a wrist shot into a wide open net.

German Goalie Dennis Endras turned in a solid effort.

"Their goalie was phenomenal," said defensemen Jack Johnson. Endras was quick to close his legs and prevent a snap shot by Nick Foligno midway through the 1st period.

Then early in the 2nd period, Endras kicked out a low shot by TJ Galiardi, and the crowd chanted "Deutschland, Deutschland."

"You feed off that," said German defensemen Nicolai Goc.

Endras wasn't at fault at all when Ryan Carter jammed a rebound into the net at 8:28 of the third period. Carter banged at a loose puck in the crease and it came to a stop across the goal line after the puck deflected off the goalie's right pad.

Schultz then sent the fans home happy with a smile on their face.

"It was an amazing way to end the game. We couldn't have asked for more," said Goc.

Playing in front of a record crowd was nothing new for two members of the USA Team, Eric Nystrom and David Moss, both played their first collegiate game in the match that determined that determined the previous world record.

Game Boxscore

U.S.A. 1 Germany 2 (0-0, 0-1, 1-0, 0-1)

0-1 GER: Michael Wolf (Muller, Ullmann) 5:20 2nd

1-1 USA: Ryan Carter (Unassisted) 8:28 3rd

1-2 GER: Felix Schultz (Unassisted) 0:21 OT

Game Stats

SOG: USA 32 GER 20

PP: USA 0/4 GER 0/4

PIM: USA 8 Minutes on 4 Penalties GER 8 Minutes on 4 Penalties

Goalies: USA Scott Clemmensen 18 SVS on 20 Shots GER Dennis Endras 31 SVS on 32 Shots

ATT: 77803

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