Tonight’s Denmark Czech Republic game started off on an interesting note, with both European teams hovered around their goaltenders before breaking, very similar to an American Football game. After that, the game got underway. Denmark, coming off an 11-3 defeat at the hands of the United States. Once again the crowd was clad in red and white and cheered on the Danes in their pursuit of the perfect Cinderella story. Unfortunately their date with destiny will have to wait, after another lopsided loss. A 7-0 rout against a much improved Czech squad left Denmark at 0-2 in their second ever appearance in the main tournament. They have been outscored 18-3.
Danish goalie Sebastian Feuk, who last night produced a candidate for save of the year, kept his team in the game stopping several quality Czech scoring chances. His acrobatics were reminiscent of Roberto Luongo, diving and never giving up on the play. The Czechs led at the end of the period by just a single goal. The second period rang a similar tune, plenty of offense from the Czechs and little to show for it. Unfortunately for the Danish though, Feuk drew comparisons to Luongo on a negative note as well, giving up a weak goal on a bad angle to give the Czech Republic a 3-0 lead.
The third period rang the same exact tune. Offense and domination courtesy of the Czechs and passive play from the Danes. The game can be summed up like this: It took Denmark until 12:41 of the 3rd period to register their 10th shot on goal. Petr Mrazek recorded one of the easiest shutouts he’ll ever get, stopping all of 12 shots. The lone bright spot for the Danes came at 9:49 of the third period when defenceman Anders Thode did his best Dion Phaneuf impression and laid out Czech forward Tomas Hyka in the Danish zone.
His team’s lack of offense was not lost on Denmark Head Coach and former NCAA hockey player Todd Bjorkstrand, who several times when interviewed referred to his team’s compete level and inability to win battles. The games do not become any easier for the Danes, who have two days off before facing Finland on Friday.
The 2012 WJHC are coming to THW. Myself and Chris Ralph have been granted full media access for the duration of the tournament, including all round robin and medal games. Together we will bring breaking news, game analysis, player interviews and stories to THW.
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Salim Valji is based in Edmonton AB, writing about all topics hockey for THW. His work has appeared in the Edmonton Journal, Fox Sports and NHL.com. He is credentialled by the WHL and Hockey Canada and attended the 2011 NHL Entry Draft. He will be covering the 2012 IHHF World Junior Hockey Championship for THW.