STOCKHOLM – Norway continued its winning ways against Denmark, beating their Scandinavian rival 3-2 at the Globe Arena in the last of three games played today in the Stockholm group at the IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship.
The Norwegians featured good puck movement and passed rather well but the ever persistent Danes would make a game of it in the third period.
Norway got on the board 1-0 when Mats Trygg scored 1:03 into the game.
Mathis Olimb forced a turnover in his zone and created a two-on-one with Martin Røymark. When Olimb tried to deke inside, the Danish defender broke up the play forcing a loose puck. Trygg pounced on the loose puck and directed it into the net.
When Jonas Holøs was whistled off for high sticking, Denmark was able to get some shots off but then the penalty but then nullified when Julian Jakobsen was called for tripping in the offensive zone, effectively ending the man advantage.
Indeed Denmark had three chances to on the power play in the first but was unable to score.
The first period was hotly contested featuring several scrums, including one after the horn sounded to end the period.
At one such juncture, both teams were finishing their checks. In Denmark’s zone each team would hit the other turning over the puck with each hit, as the decidedly equal crowd of Danish and Norwegian fans would ooh and aah.
At the same time, it led to both sides being called for minor infractions. The second period was penalty-filled with Denmark called for five minors and Norway called for two.
"We killed our penalties off really good today,"said Mads Hansen. "They have a really good power play but I think because of how we played shorthanded that is why we won the game."
Kirill Starkov had Denmark’s best chance at midway point of game with a dead one shot that was stopped by Lars Haugen making consecutive starts for his team.
Norway added to their lead at 17:05 of the second period when Anders Bastiansen shot a rocket past Patrick Galbraith. Bastiansen had already scored two goals in Norway’s opening win at the Globe Arena over Slovenia. Morten Ask and Alexander Bonsaksen added assists.
At 18:03, less than a minute after the Norway goal, Denmark roared right back.
A shot was deflected in the air and batted it into the net. The play was reviewed and determined that it was no goal but a high stick.
Denmark cut the lead in half at 5:09 of the period when Stefan Lassen’s blast form the point found its way through a screen in front.
"I felt Norway started strong but we really came back," said defenseman Oliver Lauridsen. "We took over the physical aspect of the game and won a lot of battles in the corners and in the third period came out strong when they came out flat."
It turned into a new game when Mads Bødker scored at off a feed from Mikkel Bødker at 10:02. Ever supportive Danish fans raised their voices with excitement with the knowledge their team was back in the game.
But with 2:32 remaining Norway retook the lead when Patrick Thoresen scored. Ole-Kristian Tollefsen had just left the game after suffering an injury. Once play resumed, Norway drove the puck deep into the defensive zone capped by a beautiful backhand by Thoresen to break the tie.
With the win, Norway finds itself atop their group that includes Sweden, the Czech Republic, Canada and Switzerland. A lot of hockey left to play, to be sure, but impressive even on Day Two.
Still, Mads Hansen saw room for improvement.
"We are not happy with the way we are playing. We need to put together sixty good minutes and the Swiss are putting pressure on this group so we have to keep up."