Denmark advance into quarter-finals of Olympic ice hockey tournament

Nobody thought the Red and Whites would win three of their first four games, so anything is possible against last-eight opponents Russia tomorrow

Sweden have made two of the last four Olympic ice hockey finals, winning gold in 2006. Finland have finished with a medal at five of the last seven games. And Norway … well, let’s just say they’ve contested 12 tournaments, including the last three.

This is the Danish team’s first ever Olympics, and while they have a long way to go to emulate the Swedes or the Finns, they are guaranteed to match Norway’s best result: a #8 ranking in 1972 and 2018.

This morning they dispatched Latvia 3-2 with two goals in the final period to seal their place in the final eight. Already with three wins from four, they’re likely to be ranked in the top six, even if they do bow out against Russia tomorrow.

Reasons to be confident
So far ROC (Russia Olympic Committee) are the only team to beat Denmark at this Winter Olympics. But the Danes know they gave the defending champs a good game when they lost 0-2 in the group stage.

Denmark had plenty of good chances to worry the Russians, and who knows: they might face a rusty outfit following the opponents’ four-day rest.

Also in Denmark’s favour, the game is at a different venue to their group game, which was held at the Beijing National Indoor Stadium, the venue for all three of Russia’s group contests. Instead, the Wukesong Arena, where the Danes beat Switzerland and Latvia, will host.

“We are not here as tourists,” national team player Sebastian Dahm told DR after the victory.

We’re the surprise package!
This morning’s game against Latvia could have gone either way, conceded talisman Frans Nielsen. “They started best, but we worked our way into the fight and did not give up,” he said.

Denmark took an early lead before trailing 1-2 heading into the final period

“It’s huge,” team-mate Peter Regin told DR. “We hardly dared to dream of standing here. We knew the tournament would be a little different without NHL players and that there would probably be a team that surprised positively. And so far we are that team.”

The game against Russia is scheduled to start at 07:00 CET tomorrow. It will be live on DR1 and several other channels.