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Germans Stun Russia In Championship Opener

by Staff Writer / Florida Panthers

BRATISLAVA – Germany shocked Russia to open the 2011 tournament, edging the perennial World Championship finalists 2-0. It was the first German victory over Russia in Worlds history. Thomas Greilinger scored the winning goal early in the second period.

After Russia twice beat Germany by just one goal at last year’s IIHF World Championship, many expected another tight affair to open this year’s tournament. But virtually no one foresaw the Germans coming out on top. It proves that anything can happen in modern international hockey.

"This gives us a lot of confidence for the tournament," said Germany's Andre Rankel. "We made history, but we have to focus on the other games now."

In a rematch of last year’s semi-final, a 2-1 win for Russia, the blue-collar Germans held superstar attackers like Ilya Kovalchuk, Alexander Radulov, and Alexei Morozov off the scoresheet.

"Our players executed the game plan perfectly, and we had good goaltending," said German head coach Uwe Krupp. "It was a day when just about everything worked in our favour."

Panthers defenseman Dmitry Kulikov finished the game a minus-1 on 19 shifts and 11:49 of ice time.

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