Detroit Red Wings’ Moritz Seider’s Germany stuns U.S. in World Championship semifinals

Detroit Free Press

Detroit Red Wings defenseman Moritz Seider is guaranteed to come to training camp in the fall with a medal from one of hockey’s biggest tournaments.

The 22-year-old’s change of heart, after originally deciding against representing his country this spring, has given him a chance to be a part of history. The Germans stunned the United States in the World Championship semifinals, overcoming a late deficit to win, 4-3, in overtime at Nokia Arena in Tampere, Finland. Germany will play Canada on Sunday afternoon for the gold and silver medals. The U.S. and Latvia will play the consolation game, with the winner taking the bronze medal.

It’s Germany’s first-ever gold-medal game at the World Championship.

“It’s a huge, huge step for German hockey,” Sam Soramies told the IIHF website. “That will make German hockey bigger, and we need that for sure.”

Wings prospect Carter Mazur and coach Derek Lalonde, who is an assistant with the U.S. team, came within minutes of playing in Sunday’s big game before the U.S. blew a chance to end a gold-medal drought at the World Championship that dates to 1933.

The Americans took a 2-0 lead in the first period, but the Germans were able to tie it before intermission. Michael Eyssimont made it 3-2 for the U.S. in the second period. Germany pulled goaltender Mathias Niederberger with 1:39 to play in regulation, and the gamble paid off as Marcel Noebels tied the game 16 seconds later. Frederik Tiffels scored at 7:32 of the extra period to give the Germans the win.

Seider has a goal and two assists after nine games. A few days after the Wings’ season ended he indicated he wasn’t going to play in the annual event this year, but was convinced otherwise by the German national team. Now he has a chance to bring the gold medal to Germany.

“We knew we needed just one shot,” Maximilian Kastner said. “I think we got that shot. It was the golden goal. We are so happy that we won today. It’s an unbelievable moment right now. I don’t have the words. I’m just very proud.”

Mazur, 21, has a goal and three assists in nine games.

Canada rallies

The Latvians, who squeezed into the elimination round by winning their last preliminary game, led 1-0 and 2-1, but three goals from powerhouse Canada in the third period settled the score at 4-2 in favor of the Canadians. Wings forward Joe Veleno started the tournament in Canada’s lineup, but received a five-game, tournament-ending suspension on May 14 for kicking a player during the game against Switzerland. Steve Yzerman is an assistant general manager with Canada.

One of the scorers Saturday was Michigan’s Adam Fantilli, widely projected to go as high as second in next month’s draft and last season’s Hobey Baker Award winner as college hockey’s best player. (The Wings hold the No. 9 pick).

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Contact Helene St. James at Follow her on Twitter @helenestjames.

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Her latest book, “On the Clock: Behind the Scenes with the Detroit Red Wings at the NHL Draft,” is available from  Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Triumph Books. Personalized copies available via her e-mail.

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