USA v. Germany

A historic win for the Yanks, not so much for the quality of the win over Germany (a team with glaring weaknesses, not including its superb goalkeeping) but for the team’s ability to finish an important game. The US was opportunistic on offense, and played markedly better than in every previous game out of two-meters. Krumpholtz continues to be a 205 lb revelation, drawing ejections and scoring from inside. Ryan Bailey was finally allowed to utilize his size and quickness against single, overmatched defenders. And Jeff Powers continued to show the ability to squirm free for quick, dazzling shots, including a dream-come-true backhand score at the start of the second quarter.

Defense and goalkeeping were almost entirely superb (just how many field blocks have the Americans made?), though the Germans made the job easier with quite sloppy front court play and initially timid shooting. Nossek was allowed too much freedom and made the game closer than it should’ve been at the end. But overall, a fine performance, and a brilliant win. Most important, it seems that the most self-destructive habits of US teams past have been largely eliminated. On to the medal round. Some notes from the game as it happened:

  • This should be a case of revenge for Melbourne 2007.

1st Period

  • Beautiful pass from 4 to 2 to Powers for the man up goal. The US wants to avoid outside shots on Tchigir.
  • Another offensive (Krumpholtz)…but he redeems himself drawing yet another ejection. Wright is passing beautifully this tournament, makes another one (6 to 2) to Hutten for the man up goal.
  • Bailey scores the first “quick quick” of the tournament after drawing an ejection. Two meter play is remarkably better today.
  • The Germans shift to a crazy 3-3 formation during their man up. Another field block for the US.

2nd Period

  • Spectacular backhand goal by Powers. Was sure it was a turnover. Germany’s 2m defense must be very vulnerable.
  • So far, German 6 on 5 very poor. Bad shots, field blocks, easily defended with mobility. And they are generally sloppy on offense.
  • Bob on broadcast mentions team awareness of the ball on defense. He’s right. Merrill is playing extremely well, but there are so many field blocks.
  • No German wants to shoot during man up
  • US got a break. Goalie block at 2.35; Germany not given 2m free throw. US ball.
  • Another shot and goal from inside, Krumpholtz with the donut.

3rd Period

  • The offense is stagnating, a dangerous sign.
  • The German 2 meter player, Schwertwitis, is bloody enormous.
  • A gorgeous flick pass from the wing to 2m for the kickout. Beaubien scores man up
  • Another Bailey 5m drawn. Center play so much better today.
  • Wright scores another 5m penalty. Is Azevedo replaced? Even Wolf and Bob discuss the change of penalty shooters on the TV broadcast.

4th Period

  • Powers could’ve ended the game with a missed inside skip shot. Such good hands though. Nearly popped out at 2m a series before for a shot.
  • Moses with the save of the game, a man down shot from the weak wing, all alone.
  • Very tense, 3.13 left
  • Adam Wright drives to the strong side wing for an old fashioned RB with the feed from the point. A killer goal.
  • Oafish 2m play from Germany (should’ve been an offensive). Instead, a last second shot ruled inside 5 meters and waved off. A monumental win for the US.