International Ice Hockey Federation

Asterix: The Hockey Way

Asterix: The Hockey Way

Like Goths of old, Germany got big start in 2010

Published 25.04.2017 17:10 GMT+4 | Author Lucas Aykroyd
Asterix: The Hockey Way
The kidnapping of Getafix in Asterix the Goths recalls Germany's spectacular 2-1 win over the U.S. in 2010. Photos: Editions Albert René, Matthew Manor / HHOF-IIHF Images
They wore hockey helmets instead of horned helmets, but the host Germans emulated their ancient counterparts in Asterix and the Goths at the 2010 Worlds.

Leading up to the 2017 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship, we’re dedicating one article to each day of the tournament, making a tongue-in-cheek comparison between an Asterix comic book and famous aspects of international hockey history.

When a major event is taking place, it’s good to make a big first impression. In Asterix and the Goths, Getafix attends an international conference for magic-practicing druids, and the Goths (Germanic tribes) promptly kidnap him after he’s named the Druid of the Year. They also beat up soldiers of Rome, the reigning global superpower!

Similarly, when the Germans last staged the IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship seven years ago, they earned a big victory on Day One. They faced the United States at Veltins Arena, the 2006 World Cup football stadium in Gelsenkirchen, in front of a then-world record crowd of 77,803. Lacking scoring stars like Marco Sturm and Jochen Hecht, Germany looked doomed against a nation that had played for Olympic gold in Vancouver less than three months earlier!

Yet with characteristic German hard work and discipline, coach Uwe Krupp’s men pulled off a shocker! Goalie Dennis Endras made 31 saves and Felix Schutz scored 21 seconds into overtime to give the host team a 2-1 victory. “It felt more like a World Cup football game than a hockey game,” said defenceman Sven Butenschon. “When you hear the roar of [close to] 80,000 people, it is a different noise.”

Unlike Getafix, Endras didn’t win the Golden Menhir. However, the Augsburger Panther netminder was named tournament MVP as his team marched to a fourth-place finish in Cologne. It was Germany’s best result since 1953!

The Americans disliked their opening defeat as much as Obelix dislikes eating German cabbage. The team, which included stars like T.J. Oshie, Brandon Dubinsky, and Kyle Okposo, never recovered. The U.S.’s 13th-place finish matched its all-time worst placement from 2003!

This is a 17-part series prior to the 2017 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship, of which Asterix and Obelix are the official mascots. Click on News to find the stories.

 

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