Canada started off the 2022 men's Olympic hockey tournament in Beijing with a 5-1 win against Germany on Thursday.
It was a big win for Canada, who fell to the Germans in the semifinal back in 2018. Canada didn't get any proper exhibition competition together before the tournament began outside of an intra-squad scrimmage in conjunction with the United States. Germany, meanwhile, brought back 10 players from the 2018 silver-medal team, a group that often stays together for other international events throughout the year.
Alex Grant scored the game's opening goal at 4:43 with what appeared to be a harmless wrist shot from just inside the point. But the play everyone was talking about was the major hit by Eric O'Dell on Marco Nowak, hitting him at full force behind the goal line and taking him out of action for the rest of the game.
The rest of the period was definitely one-sided. at 9:47, Ben Street's blister of a wrister beat a surprised Mathias Niederberger, with Daniel Winnik scoring on a cross-crease play 32 seconds later from a feed off of Adam Cracknell.
The Germans found a bit to work with in the first half of the second and it eventually led to Tobias Rieder's goal at 30:45. Leo Pfoederl took advantage of a bad Canadian giveaway around the net and it eventually landed on Rieder's stick, who wasted no time beating Edward Pasquale blocker side for the 3-1 goal.
It didn't do much to spark a comeback effort, however. At 32:58 on the power play, Maxim Noreau, one of Canada's best players from the 2018 tournament, sent a shot from the blueline that fooled Niederberger for the 4-1 goal. Jordan Weal added a fifth goal late in the game to finalize the game at 5-1, a game that never was in doubt for the Canadians.
Canada's next challenge will come against the United States on Friday evening at 11:40 PM ET. Germany will look to bounce back with a game against China on Feb. 12 at 3:40 AM ET, a game the Germans are heavy favorites in.