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Turin 2006: Germany confident despite loss
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Februar 15, 2006; 23:55
Turin 2006: Germany confident despite loss
Uwe Krupp's young team battles Czechs down to the wire
Frank Johne

Kolzig got off to a strong start into the tourney, turning aside 30 shots

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Munich, Germany - Despite a 4-1 loss, Team Germany got off to an impressive start into the Olympic Tournament Wednesday night in Turin, Italy. Backstopped by Olaf Kolzig of the Washington Capitals, who made 30 saves on the night, the young Germans battled World Champion Czech Republic down to the wire. Jaromir Jagr sealed a hard-fought win for the Czechs when he ripped home a hard no-look wrister from the right face off circle to make it 3-1 with only 2:13 left in the game. David Vyborny added an empty-netter in the waning seconds.

Tino Boos scored Germany's sole goal against the Czechs
Leading DEL Scorers
(as of Feb 19, 2005)

With Krupp, a former Stanley Cup champ with the Colorado Avalanche, coaching his first major game, the revamped German team looked very confident and was more offensive-minded than the squad that made a surprising run among the World's top eight nations in Salt Lake City four years ago.

However scoring efficiency once again turned out to be the main problem for the Germans, who were badly missing its top two NHL forwards, Jochen Hecht (knee) and Marco Sturm (shoulder) who are both out for the tournament with injuries.

The Germans wasted a couple of quality opportunities to tie the game in the third period, including a 5-on-3 powerplay advantage. At the other end of the ice, Kolzig made a number of mind-boggling saves, denying the Czechs from the slot again and again.

A lucky bounce helped the Czechs on Jagr's late goal. His hard shot was re-directed into the net off the leg of German defenseman Sascha Goc who was standing right in front of Kolzig.

"We are going to take a lot of confidence out of this game", said Kolzig. "Now we know that we can keep up with the big ones. This team can pull off an upset."

After a slow start into the game, the underdog Germans drew first blood on a power-play goal 50 seconds before the first intermission. Tino Boos of the Kölner Haie re-directed a point shot from Alexander Sulzer of the DEG Metro Stars past screened Czech netminder Tomas Vokoun to make it 1-0.

Momentum changed early on in the second, however. Within a span of less than three minutes, Toronto Maple Leafs defender Tomas Kaberle scored back-to-back power-play goals to put the Czechs up 2-1. With defenseman Dennis Seidenberg of the Phoenix Coyotes in the box for holding, Kaberle tied the game at 1-1 just 62 seconds into the middle frame. He took advantage of a terrible line change by the Germans, skating in 1-on-0 on Kolzig after a heads-up pass from goalie Vokoun. A hooking call against Sascha Goc put the Czechs on the power-play again just two minutes later. Kaberle knocked a shot past Kolzig to make it 2-1.

A groin injury forced Czech starting netminder Dominik Hasek to leave the game midway through the opening period. The 41-year-old goalie of the Ottawa Senators was slow getting up after a kick save six minutes inoto the contest. He remained in the game but was pulled minutes later after consulting with team officials.

German forward Sebastian Furchner of the Kölner Haie also got injured and is out for the rest of the tournament with a shoulder injury. His roster spot will be taken by a Haie teammate, defenseman Lasse Kopitz, who will likely play forward.

San Jose Sharks draftee Thomas Greiss is expected to start in net for the Germans against Team Canada Thursday.
Frank Johne Ultimate Salary Cap Football, the Web's leading market-based fantasy football game! - Canada's biggest online sporting goods retailer!

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