Just like the last couple of years, Denmark is performing well at the IIHF World Junior Championships in Canada, but just like last year, Russia now stands in the way in the quarters.
The Danes have reached the final eight for the third time in a row, this time thanks to historic wins against reigning champs Finland and the Czech Republic – two foes the Danish young guns had never beaten before.
“We played against a lot of good teams in the round-robin,” Danish captain Alexander True said on IIHF’s website.
“I think we can be proud of ourselves. Every night we came out and competed with the other team.”
The Danes finished second in Group A behind Sweden – who beat them 6-1 – finishing ahead of the Czech Republic, Switzerland and Finland.
The Danes take on Russia in the quarter-finals tonight at 19:00. The two faced off in last year’s quarters, with the Russians coming out on top 4-3.
Should the Danes manage to overcome the odds, they will face the winner of the US/Switzerland match.
Rehling in a record?
In related news, Danish hotshot Nikolai Ehlers of the Winnipeg Jets is on target to set the highest points score of any Dane in the NHL.
After 39 games, Ehlers has scored 31 points (10 goals, 21 assists) and is well on target to better Frans Nielsen’s points season from 2013-14 when he notched up 58 points in 80 games.
Ehlers 31 points places him 28th in the league overall as the 13th top point-scoring winger. Frans Nielsen, now with the Detroit Red Wings, has 19 points so far – 147th in the overall standings.
Russian Evgeni Malkin from the Pittsburgh Penguins leads the standings with 43 points.