Germany’s stoic defence withstood a series of raids by French forwards to retain their men’s Junior Hockey World Cup title by carving out a 5-2 victory in the final here on Sunday. Niklas Wellen left a stamp of brilliance to score a brilliant hat-trick to give Germany the edge. Compact defence on both sides kept the initial play confined to the midfield before the Germans mounted a series of attacks.
France conceded a soft goal in the second minute when Wellen was left unmarked in front of the goalmouth. However, French forwards made a spirited comeback in the reminder of the first half with Gaspard Baumgarten making full use of a fine move by Lukas Windfeder to level the score in 16th minute. France did get at least two more scoring opportunities before the lemon break but could not convert them into the goals.
Final: Germany 5 (N Wellen 2, 44, 46, J Gomoll 60, C Ruhr 68) bt France 2 (G Baumgarten 16, 40); 3rd place playoff: The Netherlands 7 (R Bovendeert 3, T Brinkman 6, 28, T Hibendaal 18, 37, M Baal 23, J Galema 52) bt Malaysia 2 (Z Hashim 7, 60); Other results: New Zealand bt Korea 3-2; Australia bt Belgium via tie-breaker, teams were 2-2 at regulation time