The Canadians, who started their championship fights in Latvia with a record false start with three straight defeats, but then celebrated three victories, ended up fourth in the Group B table as they went into a head-to-head duel with a tie on points and at the end of fifth place, the surprise climbers won Kazakhstan . Had Latvia only won by one point, Canada would have slipped back to fifth. The group was won by the USA, who won at the end of the preliminary round against Italy with a score of 4: 2 (3: 0 1: 1 0: 1).
Canada made a great start in the decisive match and took the lead after just 90 seconds thanks to Brandon Perry. In the middle third, the Finns, who had already qualified for the quarter-finals, equalized after 71 seconds via Arttu Ruotsalainen. In the 29th minute, the Maple Leaf was again introduced: Maxime Comtois scored in Power Play to 2: 1. Exactly four minutes before the end of the third half, Rutsalainen forced extra time with a renewed equalizer, which, however, remained goalless. .
In the penalty shootout, three Canadians out of the five shooters awarded a penalty, but only two Finns. The motherland of ice hockey missed the second point needed for a steady ascent, and therefore was dependent on outside help.
Sweden laments ‘fierce failure’
Another ice hockey superpower, Sweden, was eliminated on Monday evening. After the decisive defeat 2: 3 after a penalty shootout against Russia, disappointment reigned in the country of the 11-time world champion. For the first time since 1937, the “Tre Kronor” team missed the top eight. This is the greatest failure in modern history. “This is a complete fiasco,” former pro Jonas Anderson said as a TV pundit. And the newspaper “Express” published the headline: “This is not a failure, this is a complete failure.”
“Our goal was to get to the final and win it. I think we have a team that can definitely,” NHL forward Victor Olofsson said after the break. “But we’re sitting here right now and we haven’t even been able to get to the knockout round, so it’s a huge failure for us.”
At home, the team and inexperienced coach Johann Garbenlov faced criticism. After all, Sweden is usually one of the candidates for the medal. Eleven titles grace the long list of successes. The Swedes have celebrated gold three times in the past decade, most recently in 2017 in Germany and 2018 in Denmark. There are also 17 silver and 16 bronze medals. With only three victories in seven matches and after defeats against Denmark and a newly promoted Belarus at the start, any theoretical hope was already lost before the final day of the preliminary round.
Lack of World Cup experience is a stumbling block
The Swedish cracks did not want to use hotel isolation and coronavirus restrictions as an excuse. Captain Henrik Tomerens said: “It’s definitely different. But on the other hand, we have 20 players who participated in the World Cup for the first time, so we didn’t know what to expect.”
Sweden weren’t as strong as in their previous victories, but they had at least five NHL pros with them. For Garpenlöv, this was the first World Cup to take charge as head coach, and now he has to mitigate the fact that Sweden has not been involved in this for the first time since introducing the knockout stage in 1992. “We are not happy with the result. But that’s what it is,” said Garpenlöv. It is.” Former NHL player Bengt-Aki Gustafsson’s “Express” response to a question about what needs to be improved: “Everything.”
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