2024 IIHF World Junior Championship

Germany Stuns Finland In Major Upset At 2024 World Juniors

Germany Stuns Finland In Major Upset At 2024 World Juniors

Germany earned its first ever victory over Finland at the 2024 WJC after losing the previous 25 meetings in the tournament.

Dec 27, 2023 by Chris Peters
Germany Stuns Finland In Major Upset At 2024 World Juniors

GOTHENBURG, Sweden -- In the most stunning result of the 2024 IIHF World Junior Championship yet, Germany defeated Finland 4-3 in preliminary-round action. The victory was Germany's first over Finland at the World Juniors after losing each of the previous 25 meetings between the teams at this event.

The upset came on the heels of Finland losing to Canada in the tournament's opening day. They're now 0-0-0-2, sitting in last in Group A.

Germany was led by goaltender Philipp Dietl, who perhaps had the game of his life, stopping 40 of 43 shots including each of the 17 shots he saw during a tense third period.

The Germans actually controlled play for a good chunk of the first period, holding a 13-6 shot advantage in the first period, but the score was tied 1-1 after the opening 20 minutes. 

Finland took control in the second period, but wasn't able to hold it as Germany's counter-attack proved potent. After Kasper Halttunen (SJS) scored on a beautiful shot early in the second, Germany countered less than a minute later with a goal off the rush from Niklas Hubner that immediately tied the game again.

It seemed like Finland would be able to get the upper hand once again when Samu Bau (ARI) scored on a bit of a broken play that saw a deflected puck slip past Dietl. Germany was able to answer, however, and never looked back.

First, Roman Kechter scored by just sneaking a puck inside the near post and past Niklas Kokko (SEA), then it was Oswald's turn for another big goal.

On a rush up the ice, Oswald took advantage of a Finnish defenseman falling and fit a near-side shot past Kokko, sending the German bench into hysterics. Those two strikes came 1:31 apart.

The third period was a different story, though. Finland owned the puck and dominated in the German zone. Despite that, Dietl turned aside shot after shot after shot. With each save, Finland's frustration began to show. It did not result in any goals, however.

The final score read Germany 4, Finland 3, proving to be a historic moment for German hockey, which is in the midst of a renaissance with more NHL talent and more success internationally. 

They're tied with Canada and Sweden at the top of Group A with three points for a regulation win. Up next for the Germans will be host Sweden, which defeated Latvia 6-0 on the tournament's opening day.