Danish quarterfinal aspirations on ice after Italy fiasco

A strong performance against Czech Republic was followed up by a disastrous showing against Italy at the ice hockey world championships

Denmark’s pre-tournament aim of a quarterfinal place at the IIHF World Championships is far away after a 3-4 overtime loss to an Italian team that they easily beat just last week.

On Friday, the Danes lost to the heavily-favoured Czechs by only 2-0, but they followed that up with a major flop against Italy, thanks to a poor defensive effort and key players having a bad day.

The Italians shocked the Danes by scoring two quick goals in the first period. But the recomposed Danes scored three straight goals in the second period and seemed on their way to victory until another defensive lapse allowed the Italians to equalise.

Despite several Danish opportunities, no goals were scored in the third period, and the Italians capitalised in overtime, scoring the winner and securing two vital points, whilst the stunned Danes were left with only one.

A disappointed Julian Jacobsen told TV2 Sport that Denmark’s chances now hinges on winning the rest of the key games.

“We have Norway, Latvia and Germany still to play, and we aim to beat them,” the winger said. “We haven’t helped ourselves with this result. This is the first world championship in which we were favourites to win some games, and then it just didn’t go our way.”

The result means that Denmark sits second from bottom in the eight-team group, with only one point after the first two games. That is unlikely to change after tonight when they take on the Swedish co-hosts, who are one of the favourites to win the tournament.

The puck drops on the Denmark-Sweden match tonight at 20:15 and can be viewed on TV2 Sport.