2024 Worlds Recap: Team Germany

Looking back at Germany's impressive performance in Utica.

2024 Worlds Recap: Team Germany
Source: IIHF

What a whirlwind 2024 Worlds it was for Team Germany. The Germans exceeded expectations by sweeping the group stage by piling up 13 goals and allowing just two in their first four games. That was a +11 goal differential – in 2013, they had a +5 goal differential in the group stage. Those four games were a clear demonstration that Germany is a program closer to promotion to Group A than to relegation. But we also learned a lot about the Germans from how they lost and, more importantly, who they lost to.

Germany's young core took big strides in Utica, but they were unable to slay – or score against – the dragons they faced from Group A in the playoffs. With that said the 2024 Worlds were a resounding success for a team that The Ice Garden labeled the Wild Card of Group B before the tournament began.

2024 Worlds Preview: Germany
What to expect from Team Germany in Utica and why they might be the wildcard of Group B.

Final Record

  • Group Stage: 4-0-0
  • Playoffs: 0-1-1 (regulation loss to CZE, OTL loss to SUI)
  • Final Record: 4-1-1
  • Finish: 6th place – no relegation

Team MVP

No surprise here, it's Abstreiter.

PWHL Ottawa's Abstreiter earned Best Goaltender honors for her play in Utica. She finished the tournament with a .950 save percentage, a 1.19 GAA, and started in five of Germany's six games. Most importantly, Abstreiter held both Czechia and Switzerland to a single goal in the playoff stage of the tournament. She stopped 23 stops against Czechia and 20 stops from Switzerland before Alina Müller willed her team to a victory with her goal in overtime in the game for 5th place.

Abstreiter stopping 115 of the 121 shots she faced is all the more impressive because of how little she has played with PWHL Ottawa this year. Before Worlds, she had just 116:42 in ice time in the PWHL this year playing behind workhorse Emerance Maschmeyer. Abstreiter came into Utica with a mountain of pressure on her to give her team every opportunity to deliver and she did just that.

She was, in a word, marvelous.

Germany’s Abstreiter Passes a Big Test
Abstreiter stood tall in her big test and nearly shocked the Czechs and the rest of the hockey world.

Key Moment

Although they lost the game by a single goal, Germany's big moment had to be the wake-up call they gave Czechia and the rest of the world in the quarterfinals.

Czechia may have had a somewhat disappointing Worlds but they are still a team on the rise. The Czechs are an important litmus test for any team from Group B and all powers outside of North America. Germany playing them to a 0-0 draw through two and a half periods in the quarterfinal was huge. The Germans measured up to the Czechs and sent a clear message to Group A – they just might be the next team to rise.

What's Next?

It's easy to say that the next step for Germany is getting promoted to Group A but nothing about that is easy. The Germans made a statement in Utica by sweeping the group stage and losing playoff matchups against Switzerland and Czechia but they are still a work in progress. The young skaters on this team need to produce more scoring chances, especially at even strength, and especially against quality opposition.

One positive sign for the offenses was that five different skaters on Germany had two goals. We're still waiting for franchise offensive forces to build around on Germany, but this roster looks deeper and more full of promise than it did a year or two ago. But the Germans need to do more to develop elite talent both at home in their pro league and abroad. It's a recipe for success the Swiss and Czechs have used and it is one the Germans should imitate.

Where to Watch Germany's Stars

The majority of the German national team plays in their homeland in the German Women's Ice Hockey Bundesliga (DFEL). Below, are some of the few exceptions and where they play now and/or are playing next season.

  • Sandra Abstreiter - PWHL Ottawa
  • Nina Khristof - RPI
  • Luisa Welcke - BU (Boston University)
  • Lilli Welcke - BU
  • Svenja Voigt - St. Cloud State