Norway wins as clear underdog against Canada.Image: Keystone
Canada 2-3 nP Norway
Surprisingly, after losing to Switzerland, Canada also had to concede defeat to outright underdogs Norway. The Scandinavians took the lead in the first three and increased their lead to 2-0 shortly after the start of the middle third. Canada chased down that deficit for a long time, but they managed to avoid embarrassment by equalizing with 12 seconds left in regulation time.
But Norway survived five minutes of overtime, then beat Canada goalie Joel Hofer of the St. Louis Blues four times in a penalty shoot-out when two of Canada’s four shooters missed. It was only Norway’s second win over Canada at the World Cup. The last time this happened was in 2000. Norway is still unlikely to make the quarter-finals, while Canada is in fourth place.
Kazakhstan – Slovenia 4:3
Denmark – Sweden 1:4
In the Scandinavian clash, Denmark took the lead minutes later through SCRJ striker Niklas Jensen, but eventually had to concede defeat. A National League professional joined the scorers list in a 4-1 win for the Swedes with two assists, along with Oscar Lindberg from SC Bern.
Sweden remain in contention to win the group going into their final game against the USA on Tuesday. On the other hand, Denmark’s quarter-final is no longer in their hands. Due to the defeat against their northern neighbors, the Danes had to conquer Finland, while anticipating a German defeat against France.
Austria – Hungary 4:3 nP
Austria are at the top with Switzerland’s Roger Bader as the head coach and Arno del Curto as one of his assistants. Austria won the live match against Hungary 4:3 after a penalty shootout.
Just like the previous year against Great Britain (5: 3 after a 1: 3 deficit) in Tampere, the final group game was nail-biting. Again the Austrians had to back down 1:3 and fought back to stay in the top 16 twice in a row for the first time in 19 years.
It has been clear since Sunday that newly promoted Slovenia will go directly to the second-highest division, 1A. Now, along with Hungary, the second climb is also affected.
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The Swiss are improving game by game. Patrick Fischer was spoiled for choice as goalkeepers Leonardo Zenoni (35) and Robert Meier (33) for the quarter-finals after a fine performance against the Czech Republic.
What a sight! What a success! 4:2 against Czech Republic. The Swiss is elegant, fast, light and precise like a “white ballet”. And snappy if needed. It was a very impressive win in this tournament and one of the most interesting World Cup games of the “Fischer era” that began in Moscow in 2016.
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