Danish delight in Stockholm showdown

National side skates to first victory to avoid relegation at the IIHF World Championships

Two second period goals and some stout defending finally gave the Danish men’s ice hockey team something to cheer about yesterday at the IIHF World Championships in Stockholm.

Having spurned their chance to reach the quarter-finals and facing relegation, the Danes came out against Latvia determined to scrape some points together.

Despite a late charge by Latvia, goals by Morten Green and Morten Madsen in the second period and a heroic performance by net minder Frederik Andersen provided the Danes with a 2-0 victory – their first at the tournament.

Russia then beat Italy 4-0 later in the evening to ensure that Italy finished bottom of the group and Denmark avoided relegation.

TV2 Sport pundit Olav Eller was impressed with the Danish effort, saying that the Danes are too good a team to be playing in the B division.

“It’s huge that the team can play so well under that kind of pressure. I don’t think the Danes have ever been in such a situation in regards to expectation and history,” Eller told MetroXpress newpaper. “It was like in Austria in 2005, when people expected the Danes to be relegated within a few years. That’s why the pressure is bigger today, because the Danes are an established part of the A Division now.”

Denmark currently sit second from bottom in the table with four points, but could move into fifth place if they beat quarter-final bound Norway today. The match is set to start at 12:15.