Denmark picked a good time to win a big game on Saturday, defeating Norway by a score of 4-1 to distance themselves from Slovenia in the relegation race.
As was the case in every game today, relegation implications were evident from the drop of the puck. For Norway, a win would help give them a fighting chance for a quarter-final berth, while a loss likely wouldn’t impact them in the standings. A win for Denmark, however, would almost pretty much save them from relegation, as the expectation is that Slovenia wont have much of a chance against the Americans in their next game.
It took the Danes just 51 seconds to find the back of the net first. Shortly after puck drop, Nicholas Jensen sent a wrist shot towards Lars Haugen, blowing through the traffic in front to hit the top right corner and in.
Norway scored a very similar goal three minutes after that. In a game with some incredible action to start the day, Ken Andre Olimb scored after taking a quick wrister from the slot, beating a screened Sebastian Dahm for the tying goal early on. Norway almost scored again with under five minutes to go in the period, with Niklas Roest making a good play to steal the puck away from a Danish defender and get a shot on net. Dahm, however, wasn’t a fan of that idea, getting the pad away before sending the rebound out to his own team in an effort to go back the other way.
Some penalty trouble for Norway late in the period allowed the Danes to regain their lead. With 24 seconds to go in the first, Daniel Nielsen took a blast from the blue line, scoring a power-play goal after the shot somehow missed everybody in front of the net.
The second period didn’t see a lot of action, but it did see Dahm get run into a few times. First, his own defenseman, 6’6 monster Oliver Lauridsen, fell on top Dahm just seconds after taking a huge shot just below the mask. The hit definetly shook him up a bit, resulting in a short delay to allow him to regain his composure.
Later on, Kristian Forsberg would grab a penalty after making no real attempt at stopping in front of the crease. The hit allowed the Danes to find themselves on the power-play, and Frederik Storm would get the power-play goal after directing a shot in front past Haugen for the 3-1 goal.
Nothing was going Norway’s way late in the game. With about nine minutes to go, Mats Rosseli Olsen managed to get the puck past Dahm, but Jesper Jensen was able to clear the puck away just before it trickled over the line. The Danes then went back the other way, and after some beautiful passing by Morten Madsen and Nichlas Hardt, Julian Jakobsen converted on the one-timer to give his team the three goal lead and place the dagger in the heart of the Norge.
Norway didn’t want to give up, but they waited too long to really wake up their offensive chances. The team pulled Haugen with four minutes left in hopes of trying to get some extra goals in late. Dahm was no slouch all tournament long, forcing Norway to get creative with their chances. Dahm and the rest of Denmark would hold on in the closing stages, finishing the game with a big 4-1 victory on Saturday.
The win today for Denmark means that they’ll have a four point cushion over Slovenia for seventh place in Group B. Denmark only has one more game left on the schedule, a meeting with Slovenia on Monday. A loss for Slovenia in either of their two final games means that they’ll be relegated for 2016, while two straight wins means that Denmark would be the team finding themselves in Division IA next year.
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