COLOGNE – Peter Regin scored on Denmark’s first shot of the game and the Danes had three goals on their first three shots en route to a 6-0 triumph over Slovakia in a Qualification Round game at the IIHF World Championship on Friday.
The offensive splurge marked only the second time ever at the IIHF’s showcase event that Denmark scored six goals in a game. The previous time was at the 2008 Worlds in a 6-2 victory over Italy.
The six goals in the first period also briefly tied a record for the most goals in one period by the same team at the IIHF’s elite level. But Canada scored seven times in the second period against Norway in a game being played in Mannheim at the same time to set the IIHF’s benchmark.
"We killed them right away,'' said Denmark captain Jesper Daamgard. "We came out flying and it seemed like everything went in."
"They changed goalies but we just kept coming at them. We were all over them and they could not get a shot on our net.''
The surprising Danes now have six points in Group E and their next game is Sunday against Russia.
Slovakia has three points and it has a must-win game versus Finland on Monday to keep their hope of going to the quarterfinals on track.
What made the result surprising is how Denmark, a team that has usually fought for survival against regulation, handled a team that is always mentioned as a medal contender with ease.
It was one of those games where nothing went right from the opening faceoff for the Slovaks, who were back in the ice less than 24 hours after a 5-1 win over Kazakhstan, while everything went right for the Danes.
Regin opened the scoring at 1:05 of the first on a shot from close in and the floodgates were opened.
The Slovaks then found themselves in penalty trouble and took minor penalties at 2:23 and 3:27, and Denmark made them pay with consecutive power-play goals.
Philip Larsen doubled the score at 4:20, negating the first penalty, and forward Mads Christensen followed with his first goal of the world tournament at 4:40.
That made it three shots, three goals for the Danes and Slovakia coach Glen Hanlon had seen enough. He summoned goaltender Peter Budaj to the bench and sent Rastislav Stana in as relief.
The Danes hit the post behind Stana on the first shot he faced and then the goalie settled in and held ground for six minutes before he was victimized for three goals in less than three minutes.
Morten Madsen scored on a scramble at 10:52 for a 4-0 lead while the Danes had a power play. Morten Green’s point shot made it 5-0 at 12:21 and Stefan Lassen’s goal at 13:42 on a slap shot then equaled Denmark’s record for most goals in a game and tied, albeit briefly, the IIHF’s mark of most goals in a period in the elite division of international hockey.
"It was amazing. We were big underdogs before the game but we came out strong," said defenceman Alexander Sundberg.
"It is a nice feeling right now, a nice feeing."
Denmark goalie Patrick Galbraith faced only three shots in the opening period, and his best save in the game came early in the third period. Andrej Podkonicky got behind Denmark’s defence and he ripped a crisp wrist shot that Galbraith got his trapper on to knock the puck out of harm’s way just before the five-minute mark.
The Slovaks were better defensively in the second and third periods and much better on offence, but it was too late for heroics because the damage had already been done.
Denmark played well and we didn't. We gave them easy power plays in the beginning and they scored their goals. We've got two more games to go, and we have to recover.
"It's not over, this is a tournament and that's the good thing," said Slovakia's Ivan Majesky. "We'll have to play better defensively in our next game against Finland, and hope that we can score some goals.''