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2021 Worlds: Team Germany preview

Germany v Austria - Women’s Ice Hockey Olympic Qualification Final - Group D Photo by Matt Roberts/Getty Images

Germany has been a bit up and down throughout the years. They’ve oscillated between the top tier and Division I a fair amount since 2018, spending a few years in each between promotion and relegations.

They’ll be looking to rise back up to their 2017 level, where they surged out of Group B to the bronze medal game and came in fourth. That’s their best finish to date.

2019 Worlds

2019 was a bit of a rough showing for Germany. They won two games, one in a shootout, and lost two, with one coming in overtime, for a total of eight points, to come in second in Group B.

In their opening game they took Sweden to a shootout where they won on a Laura Kluge goal. They beat Japan in their second game, 3-2, after going up two goals, letting Japan score twice in the third period, and a late goal by Marie Delarbre to seal the win. They seem to run out of steam after those two games. Disappointingly they lost to France in overtime 0-1, which would go on to be the French’s only win of the tournament. For the final game in group play, they lost to Czech Republic 0-2.

Their two wins did propel them out of Group Play to the semifinals however. But they were no match for Canada who beat them handily 5-0, despite an outstanding performance from goaltender Jennifer Harß.

Roster

Forwards: Anne Bartsch, Nina Christof, Marie Delarbre, Nicola Eisenschmid, Katharina Häckelsmiller, Bernadette Karpf, Laura Kluge, Jule Schiefer, Kerstin Spielberger, Svenja Voigt, Theresa Wagner, Sonja Weidenfelder, Julia Zorn
Defenders: Tabea Botthof, Lena Düsterhöft, Tanja Eisenschmid, Nina Jobst-Smith, Rebecca Orendorz, Anna-Maria Reich, Yvonne Rothemund, Carina Strobel
Goaltender: Sandra Deniers, Franziska Albl, Jennifer Harß

Key Player | Jennifer Harß

Goaltender Jennifer Harß has a history with Team Germany...and it’s the kind that’s built her quite the trophy case, making her Germany’s key player ahead of the tournament.

Harß has been active with the German national team since she was 17. She’s played in two Olympic tournaments and nine top-level World Championships, with her only Division I A World Championship appearance marked by a gold medal, several all-tournament honors, and a promotion to the top level. At the top-level, she would go on to earn Germany’s Top 3 Player honors five times, most recently in 2018-19.

Let’s rewind for a second, just for fun: In 2009-10, as a freshman starter at Minnesota Duluth, Harß back-stopped the Bulldogs to an NCAA title and put up a save percentage of .934, the best of her three-year collegiate tenure. She concluded her rookie season by establishing the UMD record for saves in a single season with 1,138, and a win-loss record of 29-8-2 — second only in the books to former Bulldog Kim Martin.

Though the Germans aren’t known for dominating at the top international level, we think it’s safe to say that Harß herself is here to dominate in Calgary.

Key Youngster | Nina Jobst-Smith

Nina Jobst-Smith has played an instrumental role on the blue line since her tenure with the Frauen-Bundesliga’s ECDC Memmingen in 2018-2019, and the 19-year-old is our youngster to watch ahead of the 2021 tournament.

While playing professionally for ECDC Memmingen in her native Germany, Jobst-Smith proved herself as an offensively-minded defender, guarding both the back of the net and generating chances in front. She tallied 4 goals and 7 assists for 11 points in her rookie season, good for a place in the team’s top ten in scoring.

In 2020-21, Jobst-Smith made the transition to playing across the pond in the NCAA, and has shown up huge with the NCAA’s Minnesota Duluth. As a freshman, she helped the Bulldogs to a WCHA-best 33 goals against, and scored her first collegiate goal in a big way with the overtime game-winner against Bemidji State back in January.

While this year’s World Championship will be her first appearance with Team Germany, there’s no reason to believe Jobst-Smith will be anything but a reliable two-way blue liner on her biggest stage yet.