IIHF World Championships Roundup: Norway Edge Out Slovena, Denmark Hit Austria For Six
Norway and Denmark were the early winners on Day Five of the IIHF World Championship with victories over Slovenia and Austria respectively before France take on Hungary and Switzerland face Kazakhstan in Tuesday’s late games.
Denmark 6 Austria 2
Denmark moved up to second in Group A with a commanding 6-2 victory over Austria in Tampere on Tuesday afternoon, giving themselves a great chance of sealing a quarter-final spot as one of the top eight teams in this year’s World Championship.
Forward Nikolaj Ehlers got the first goal of the game for the Danes in the 10th minute, but a tripping foul from Anders Koch midway through the second period allowed Austria to take advantage and level thanks to a Thomas Raffl effort. Denmark were back ahead six minutes later though as Niklas Andersen netted before assisting with their third at the start of the third period – this time Jesper Jensen getting on the scoresheet.
Austria did pull another back through Peter Schneider soon after to make it 3-2, but his side seemed to run out of steam from that point as the Danes netted three times in less than six minutes to take full control of the game.
The three points moves Denmark a point behind Group A leaders USA – they will face Germany in their next game on Thursday. For Austria, who have just one point from their opening three games, face another stern test in the form of the USA on Wednesday.
Slovenia 0 Norway 1
Group B’s opening game of the day was more subdued affair with Norway edging out Slovenia by a single goal for their first win of the tournament.
The Norwegians had two losses from their opening two games – a shooutout loss to Kazakhstan and a 3-0 defeat at the hands of Switzerland – so knew a win was paramount for their chances of making the tournament’s latter knockout stages.
In a cagey first period where both teams had half chances, Norway took advantage of their superior shot accuracy to take the lead in the 15th minute of the first period.
Thomas Berg-Paulsen, who plies his trade in Sweden with Malmo, was the scorer of the goal, getting help from Johannes Johannesen and Thomas Olsen.
Both teams had two power-plays in the second period, but were unable to take advantage as the game turned scrappy with no side able to break through the final line.
The same could be said for the final period, with Slovenia unable to cause their opponents much trouble, allowing Norway to take all three points away from Riga.