Reuters - Fri, 07 May 22:27:00 2010
Germany needed only 21 seconds of overtime to snatch a surprise 2-1 win over United States in the opening match of the world championship in front of a record ice hockey crowd of 77,803 on Friday.
Felix Schuetz flicked the puck into the net soon after the start of the five-minute extra session to prompt a huge roar from the home fans at Schalke 04 football club's ground.
"This was a dream start in front of an amazing crowd. They pushed us forward," Germany coach Uwe Krupp said.
"We now have to keep our cool and keep playing at the same level."
The hosts produced a clean sheet in the first period mainly thanks to goaltender Dennis Endras.
The US, fielding only one member of the silver medal-winning team from February's Vancouver Olympics, went behind early in the second period when Michael Wolf grabbed Marcel Muller's rebound to beat netminder Scott Clemmensen.
The Americans then upped the pressure and were repeatedly denied by Endras.
Ray Carter finally broke through to level midway through the third period before Schuetz grabbed the winner.
"All the players were very nervous and could not sleep at lunchtime but we played well and used our chances up front," said Schuetz.
"It is only one of many matches (though). We made a good start but need to keep it going."
Most of the sport's biggest names have remained in North America for the ongoing NHL playoffs, with Russia's Alexander Ovechkin the only major exception.
Russia, who have won the last two world titles, will start their defence on Sunday against Slovakia in Group A.