The Canadians, who began their championship fight in Latvia with a record false start of three consecutive losses, but then celebrated three successes, finished fourth in the Group B table as they had a direct duel and were tied on points. But at the end of fifth place, the astonishing climber won Kazakhstan. If Latvia had won only one point, Canada would have slipped to fifth place.
USA beat Italy 4-2 at the end of the preliminary round in Pool B to beat Slovakia in the quarter-finals on Thursday. The Canadians now face a Russian selection, who took first place in Group A thanks to a 6–0 win against Belarus. Germany is now taking on Switzerland for a place in the semi-finals. The Czech Republic, who beat the Slovaks 7–3 in a prestige duel and pushed them through third place, duet with defending champions Finland.
Record world champion needs shooting aid
Canada got off to a great start against Finland and took the lead after just 90 seconds through Brandon Pirie. In the middle third, the Finns, who had already qualified for the quarter-finals, even managed to equalize after 71 seconds through Artu Rutslainen. In the 29th minute, “Maple Leaves” was reintroduced: Maxim Komtois scored 2:1 in the power play. Just four minutes before the end of the third period, Rütslainen forced extra time with a new equalizer, which was aimless.
In the shoot-out, three Canadians out of five shooters awarded penalties, but only two Finns. The ice hockey homeland missed the second point needed for a certain climb and therefore relied on outside help, which Germany eventually provided in the evening game. After three consecutive defeats before, DEB Selection managed a close 2:1 against the Latvians, who were quickly eliminated. John-Jason Pieterka (4th) and Marcel Knoebles (seventh) scored early for the Germans, who passed the victory after Rodrigo Aboles (26th) scored the next goal.
Sweden regrets “failure”
Unlike Canada already eliminated, Sweden is another major ice hockey power. After a decisive 2:3 defeat following a penalty shootout against Russia, the eleven-time world champion’s country was in despair. For the first time since 1937, the “Tre Kronor” team missed the top eight. “It’s the biggest failure in modern history. It’s a nuisance,” said former professional Jonas Anderson, a TV expert. The tabloid “Expression” carried the headline: “It’s not a failure, it’s a failure.”
“Our goal was to go to the end and win it. And I think we had a team that certainly could,” NHL striker Viktor Olofsson said after the break. “But we’re just sitting here and knockout Didn’t even make the round, so it’s a huge failure for us.”
At home, the inexperienced team and coach Johann Garpenlov faced criticism. After all, Sweden is usually one of the medal candidates. Eleven titles adorn the long list of successes. Sweden has celebrated gold medals three times over the past decade, most recently in Germany in 2017 and Denmark in 2018. There are also 17 silver and 16 bronze medals. With only three victories in seven matches and initially losing against Denmark and newly promoted Belarus, there was no theoretical hope before the last day of the preliminary round.
Lack of World Cup experience as a hindrance
The Swedish crackdown did not want to take hotel isolation and coronavirus restrictions as an excuse. “It’s definitely different,” said captain Henrik Tomarnes: “But on the other hand, we had 20 players who played their first World Cup, so we didn’t know what to expect.”
Sweden was not as strong as previous victories, but they had at least five NHL professionals with them. This was the first World Cup for Garpenlov in responsibility as head coach, now that he has to temper the fact that Sweden is not involved in it for the first time since the start of the knockout rounds in 1992. “We are not happy with the result. But it is what it is, ”says Garpenlov. Former NHL player Bengt-Ake Gustafsson answered the question “Express” what needs to be improved: “Everything.”