The German national ice hockey team has achieved its minimum goal of reaching the World Cup quarter-finals. From Thursday onwards, the knockout system will continue.

When will we move into the top eight?

Thanks to Latvia’s 3-2 win after a penalty shootout against Slovakia, the German team is finally in the round of the top eight despite no games on Sunday. This means that at the end of the group phase on Tuesday (12.20 p.m./ProSieben and MagentaSport) against France it’s just a matter of placement.

Who are the possible opponents?

Hosts the Czech Republic, favorite opponents Switzerland or world champions Canada. Only on the final day will it be clear who and where national coach Harold Kreis’ team will play in the quarter-finals. The knockout phase is played crosswise. For example, the first in group A will have to deal with the fourth in group B.

Germany last beat Switzerland a year ago and later became runner-up in the world championships. Switzerland was also defeated in the knockout phase in 2010 and 2021 as well as at the 2018 Olympics. “I would be happy. It’s always fun to play against them. They might be a little afraid of us if you look at the last few years,” said JJ Peterka.

Where is the game played?

Germany has so far played all its games in Ostrava. However, only the first two teams in Group B remain in the third largest city in the Czech Republic and will play in the quarter-finals there. The third and fourth teams travel to the second location in Prague. The only exception: hosts Czech Republic will stay in Prague, even if they come third in Group A. Then the second-placed team from this group has to travel to Ostrava to play against the third-placed team in Group B. The two semi-finals on Saturday as well as the game for third place and the final on Sunday will also be played in Prague.

Which German players have been able to convince so far?

The three NHL professionals Nico Sturm, JJ Peterka and goalkeeper Philipp Grubauer have filled their leadership roles well so far. Sturm, in particular, has proven his importance on and off the ice. Peterka leads the top scorers list with five goals. Grubauer unnerved the Slovaks, Latvians and Kazakhs. The offensive line with Leonhard Pföderl (three goals, five assists) and Yasin Ehliz (two goals, six assists) also showed enthusiasm. Kai Wissmann from the Eisbären Berlin and Lukas Kälble from Neu Mannheim set accents in defense and were also accurate in front of the opponent’s goal.

Who will be world champion?

Sweden has made the best impression so far with its outstanding defense trio of Victor Hedman, Erik Karlsson and Rasmus Dahlin. The eleven-time world champions made a clear statement with a 5-2 win against the USA and a 6-1 win against Germany. The Tre Kronor were last successful at a World Cup in 2018. But Switzerland has also shown its best side so far: hosts Czech Republic were defeated, and many experts consider it the best Swiss squad ever with seven NHL professionals.

But the Czech Republic, who have received three reinforcements from North America with superstar David Pastrnak, Martin Necas and Pavel Zacha, as well as world champions Canada, are also always to be reckoned with. Despite a strong contingent, the USA remains the great unknown. The US boys were extremely moody in the preliminary round.