The World Juniors continued for day two of the festivities on Monday. Among the four total games that took place, just one Oilers prospect was in action.
Luca Münzenberger donned the black, red, and yellow jersey for Team Germany as they tried to rebound from their 3-1 opening day loss to Finland. The opponent standing in their way was Czechia, who was looking for some redemption of their own after squandering an early 3-1 lead against Canada en route to a 6-3 loss.
Münzenberger was coming off a fairly impressive game for Germany in the opener. He had scored the team’s only goal off a well-placed wrist shot and looked fairly solid in all areas of the ice. That impressive play continued against the Czechs.
He decided to showcase his physical play early on with a few crushing hits on attacking Czech forwards. It was also interesting to see how often he decided to skate the puck up the ice rather than passing it up. Most of these rushes didn’t amount to anything, but it was encouraging to see him recognize when he had space to move.
Münzenberger also had the opportunity to demonstrate his playmaking ability by quarterbacking Germany’s powerplay. I thought the entire unit had a fairly mediocre-to-bad night overall but, when they were able to set up, I liked Münzenberger’s patience.
He nearly got on the board for the second straight game after intercepting a pass to get a breakaway. Unfortunately, he wasn’t able to get good control of the puck and his shot on goal was less than ideal.
Alexander Blank and Florian Bugl would rightfully get a lot of the attention following the thrilling 2-1 German win, but Münzenberger did contribute offensively as well. He notched a second assist on Blank’s opening goal in the second period.
Overall, I thought this was an even more impressive game for the 2021 third-rounder. Albeit against a weaker team, Münzenberger was able to have a bigger impact on the game as a whole. Encouraging stuff.
Oilers fans will be able to see him back in action this Wednesday as Germany faces their biggest challenge yet against Team Canada. Puck drop is set for 5pm.