Austria Stuns Czechia for First Time
Austria has yet to win a game in Finland, but with a point against USA and now a 2-1 shootout win against Czechia, they have to be feeling good about themselves.
The win was Austria’s first against Czechia in World Championship history, and gives them a very strong chance of avoiding relegation.
Czechia had the first laugh, however, and one that lasted for much of the game. After having a goal waved off earlier due to goalie interference, Roman Cervenka got his team on the board with a wrist shot off of a Matej Blumel feed at 17:59.
Austria got a good boost from long-time starter Bernhard Starkbaum, who made 24 stops in the game. The team pulled him in the dying minutes of the contest, and with under a minute to go, Brian Lebler kicked the puck to himself and beat Arizona Coyotes goaltender Karel Vejmelka in close to force overtime.
There, a lone shootout goal from Peter Schneider helped Austria bounce over the Czechs for the win. It was a big moment for the small hockey nation that was only promoted to the top tournament due to the bans of Russia and Belarus.
Austria didn’t have any NHLers at their disposal, while 13 Czechs have combined for over 3,000 games played, highlighted by David Krejci and his 962 GP.
Denmark Avoids Loss Against Italy
It was a bit too close for comfort for Denmark, but they ended up with three vital points following a 2-1 win over Italy.
Nikolaj Ehlers, Denmark’s top player, scored the opening goal at 15:54 in a period that saw Denmark outshoot Italy 18-4. Denmark then did the same in the second period, but it was Alex Petan’s power-play goal with a minute left in the second that tied the game at one, giving a bit of scare for the much stronger Danes.
At 41:46, Mathias Bau, who has done most of his damage on the power play so far, scored his first goal of the tournament at 41:46 for the game-winner, with Sebastian Dahm stopping the final six shots sent his way for the victory.
Sweden Easily Rolls Over Team GB
There wasn’t much doubt going into it, but Sweden easily beat Great Britain 6-0 after an explosive first period.
It only took Sweden 13 seconds to start the scoring. Rasmus Asplund scored his first of two goals on a rebound, with Joakim Nordstrom and Anton Bengtsson scoring one each to make it 3-0 just shortly after the halfway point of the opening stanza.
Rasmus Dahlin’s first of the tournament at 13:09 made it 4-0, and Asplund’s second – a power-play goal – made it a five-goal lead.
Opting to save him for future games, Britain pulled starting goalie Ben Bowns for the second, with Jackson Whistle stopping 18 of the 19 shots he faced. He eventually allowed one goal, with Bengtsson scoring at 53:09, as Sweden finished with a 6-0 win.
Sweden is now first in Group B after tying Finland with perfect 3-0-0-0 records. Great Britain is last in Group B with one point and will be in tough to avoid relegation.
Switzerland Edges Out Kazakhstan
In another game that was a bit closer than expected, Switzerland managed to beat Kazakhstan 3-2 in a close contest.
It took 23:58 for Switzerland to break the deadlock. At 23:58, Denis Malgin scored at a tough angle after Philipp Kurashev ‘s shot was blocked, beating Andrei Shutov for the 1-0 goal.
At 34:32, Dario Simion doubled the advantage after grabbing a bouncing puck in the neutral zone and scoring on a breakaway wrister to make it 2-0.
The advantage lasted until 45:47 when, on the power play, Jesse Blacker scored Kazakhstan’s second shorthanded goal of the tournament on an odd-man rush he created in his own zone.
A Fabrice Herzog goal late in the third period seemingly put the game away for Switzerland. Valeri Orekhov scored with just over two minutes left to make it a one-goal game again, but Herzog’s goal proved to be the difference in a tight affair.
1. Rasmus Asplund, F (SWE): Another strong performance for Asplund, who, with two goals tonight, has been one of the better goal-scorers in the tournament.
2. Andreas Bernard, G (ITA): Bernard had to be amazing in this one, and with 43 saves, he was.
3. Andrei Shutov, G (KAZ): This should have been much more one-sided, but Shutov’s 40 kept the Kazakhs in this one.
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