2023 Worlds Preview: Team Germany
Germany looks to improve on a 9th place finish but may lack the depth to do so.
At the 2022 Worlds, Team Germany won a single game in the group stage and finished ninth. In Brampton this year, the Germans will look to improve on that result. This is a program searching for new stars. Germany needs to find and develop its next Julia Zorn and/or Jennifer Harß to remain in the top division.
- Forwards: Anne Bartsch, Nina Christof, Marie Delarbre, Nicola Eisenschmid, Franziksa Feldmeier, Celina Haider, Bernadette Karpf, Laura Kluge, Svenja Voigt, Theresa Wagner, Sonja Weidenfelder, Lilli Welcke, Luisa Welcke
- Defenders: Tabea Botthof, Daria Gleißner, Ronja Hark, Katarina Jobst-Smith, Charlott Schaffrath, Carina Strobel, Heidi Strompf
- Goaltenders: Sandra Abstreiter, Johanna May, Chiala Schultes
Three to Watch
- Sandra Abstreiter | Abstreiter had a rough outing in the 2022 Worlds – to the tune of a .844 save percentage. The good news for the Germans is that Abstreiter had another strong season at Providence and has one more year of experience. If she gets enough support in front of her, she can steal a game in the group stage. This tournament, one stolen game may be all Germany needs to eclipse what they accomplished one year ago.
- Laura Kluge | Kluge, 26, finished third in the German league in scoring in 2022-23. She was also one of two players to score two goals for the national team at the 2022 Worlds. Kluge is a big forward who has proven her ability to score, but she may not have all the tools to generate scoring chances on her own at this level. With that said, she's in her prime and is one of the best players on this roster. Germany needs a big showing from Kluge.
- Daria Gleißner | With no Tanja Eisenschmid on this year's roster, Gleißner will be asked to eat up a ton of ice time as a veteran mainstay who can move the puck. Team Germany's path to success is a structured defense and controlled zone exits. Gleißner is a key cog in that plan, as the most experienced defender on this team by a wide margin.
Celina Haider | The Deutscher Eishockey-Bund has high hopes for Haider and the player she can develop into. A big, 5-foot-9 forward, Haider has been to two senior Worlds tournaments but has just one point – a goal in the 2019 Worlds. The 22-year-old has the skill to be an impact player but, so far, the pieces just haven't come together yet.
Haider just finished her most productive season in the DFEL, picking up 22 points in 19 games. That's an encouraging sign for the big center, but she still needs to prove she can produce at the highest level. This tournament will be a big test for her and Germany's other youngsters.
Storyline: Who Will Score?
Team Germany has never scored more than eight goals in a top division Worlds tournament. That is the story of the German women's national team – they do not score enough. This program is in desperate need of an offensive star, as evidenced by former PHFer Theresa Knutson leading the DFEL in scoring and Julia Zorn, who retired from the national team, leading all German-born skaters with 12 goals in 19 GP.
The Germans will need an extremely effective power play or will need to find a way to bend and not break at even strength. To be frank, the odds are stacked against them, and they cannot afford to settle for low-danger chances. This team needs to use its size and bully its way to the crease to find goals.
What Does Success Look Like?
For the Germans, success will be avoiding relegation and improving on the offensive side of the puck. This program has been trending in the wrong direction for too long. The kids need to play, and the minds behind the bench must preach discipline and possession.
- April 6 - GER v. SWE, 11 a.m.
- April 7 - FIN v. GER, 3 p.m.
- April 9 - GER v. FRA, 7 p.m.
- April 11 - HUN v. GER, 11 a.m.