Canada Defeats Germany in Men's Hockey Opener at 2022 Winter Olympics

Tim Daniels@@TimDanielsBRFeatured Columnist IVFebruary 10, 2022

Canada's Ben Street (10) is congratulated after scoring a goal against Germany during a preliminary round men's hockey game at the 2022 Winter Olympics, Thursday, Feb. 10, 2022, in Beijing. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek)
AP Photo/Petr David Josek

Canada rolled to a 5-1 victory over Germany on Thursday in its first game of the men's ice hockey tournament at the 2022 Winter Olympics.

Alex Grant, Ben Street and Daniel Winnik scored within a six-minute span of the opening period as the Canadians quickly pulled away at Wukesong Arena in Beijing. Maxim Noreau and Jordan Weal also scored for the nine-time gold medalists.

Tobias Rieder netted the only goal for Germany.

Vicki Hall @vickihallch

Team Canada wins 5-1 over Germany in men’s hockey. Eric O’Dell set the tone with a hellacious hit. Owen Power makes hockey look easy. Kent Johnson shines in his Olympic debut. Next up tomorrow against the U.S. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Beijing2022?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Beijing2022</a>

Uncertainty surrounded the men's hockey tournament at this year's Games because NHL players didn't travel for the event. While that was also the case in 2018, the decision this time around wasn't made until late December because of COVID-19 concerns, which caused the top national teams to scramble together makeshift rosters.

Canada still had the look of a strong medal contender in its opener courtesy of a balanced offensive attack and a solid outing from goalie Eddie Pasquale, who stopped 23 of the 24 shots sent his way.

Grant opened the scoring a little under five minutes into the first period. Street and Winnik got on the scoresheet soon after to open a sizable advantage.

The Canadians did put themselves under some pressure, as they took four consecutive penalties, three late in the first and one early in the second, but the penalty kill rose to the occasion to keep Germany from making a serious comeback bid.

That stretch, combined with defending a large lead, is also why the shot total—27-24 in favor of Canada—wasn't as lopsided as the score.

Rieder, who played seven NHL seasons and currently skates for the Vaxjo Lakers in Sweden, got the Germans on the board just after the midway point of the second. But Noreau answered back for Canada within three minutes.

Weal wrapped up the scoring in the third. Kent Johnson and Eric O'Dell each recorded a pair of assists in the contest.

Next up for Canada in Group A play is a rivalry clash with Team USA on Saturday (Friday night in North America). The Americans rolled past host nation China, 8-0, in their opener.