Frederik Storm recorded three points, including the shootout winner, as Denmark came back from a two-goal deficit midway through the second period to win their first game of the 2019 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship 5-4 over France. Jesper Jensen of Denmark and Valentin Claireux, Tim Bozon and Kevin Hecquefeuille of France all had two-point games.
“I think we did alright,” forward Mikkael Boedker assessed. “There was a lot of back and forth, and we conceded two ugly goals, which put us on our heels a little bit. We got one back at the end of the second which got us back into it, and in the third I thought we were the better team. We came out with a win in the shootout, so that's a nice start.”
The Danes carried the run of play in the first period and thought they’d opened the scoring 2:28 in, but play was whistled down before the puck entered the net because France had too many players on the ice.
Instead, it was the French who opened the scoring on their first power play when Charles Bertrand put in a rebound amidst a scramble in the Danish crease.
“We did some good things for the first game,” said Bertrand. “It was a tight game and we could have won as well if we didn't make some small mistakes, but we'll learn and come back stronger tomorrow.”
The French responded with three straight goals in the second period. Olivier Dame-Malka tied the score on a shoot-in from centre ice that beat Sebastian Dahm through the legs, Damien Fleury scored on a rebound and Claireux on a one-time slapper to give France a 4-2 lead.
Florian Hardy was hardy in the French goal for a long time, making 34 saves through 65 minutes and stopping Boedker on a second-period penalty shot, but he couldn’t hold out forever. Lars Eller launched a missile from the point to bring the Danes within one late in the middle frame, and then Jensen brought them even early in the third period, redirecting a shot from in close up and over Hardy’s shoulder.
Despite some chances either way for the rest of the third period and overtime, that was the last goal prior to the shootout.
“It was one of those games we have to do well in. It's an important game. I think they felt the same way,” said Boedker. “I think it's good (to start with a big game). Get in, get at it. We try to aim a little higher each year, and last year we just missed the quarter-finals. We have to keep trying to find ways to get points here and be in that quarter-finals spot this year.”