Denmark Starts Off Hometown World Championships With Victory

Denmark Starts Off Hometown World Championships With Victory

Steven Ellis04 May 2018Steven Ellis»
 

Denmark outlasted Germany in the second shootout at the Jyske Bank Boxen on Friday, taking the 3-2 victory to kick off the 2018 World Hockey Championships on home ice.

 
 
 
 

Denmark outlasted Germany in the second shootout at the Jyske Bank Boxen on Friday, taking the 3-2 victory to kick off the 2018 World Hockey Championships on home ice.

The Danes were looking for any advantage they could get in the game, as beating a team that won silver at the Olympics, while doing so on home ice, would be huge for the sport in the nation. At 28:44 on the power play, Jesper Jensen took the pass from Jesper Jensen Aabo and fired the one-timer past Timo Pielmeier, putting Denmark up by one.

But the Germans would fight back. Perhaps the top player on the ice, Leon Draisaitl, would tie the game up at one after Nicholas B. Jensen slipped into Frederik Andersen after colliding with Yasin Ehliz, taking Andersen effectively out of the play. Ehliz would get back up and send the puck out to Draisaitl out on the slot, who beat the sprawling Andersen to make it 1-1 at 12:12 in the second.

Denmark would score another one before the second period was over, but like Germany's goal, it wasn't overly pretty. The passing around the offensive zone on the power play was impressive, but it would be Fredrik Storm who would reach in and squeak the puck over the goal line in a scramble, giving Denmark their second advantage of the game.

Andersen was having a good game, being forced to make a multitude of big stops, including a nice one on a one-timer near the midway point of the third. But a bad goal at 50:43 resulted in Germany tying the game up at two. Draisaitl would return the favour for Ehliz by setting up his linemate on a two-on-one, with Ehliz's shot going off Andersen's left arm and in for the 2-2 goal.

Just like the earlier game in Herning, Denmark and Germany would require a shootout to decide the winner. Frans Nielsen, one of the NHL's best shootout masters, would be the only player to score in the skills competition to give the Danes the victory, starting the tournament off on the right foot.

Denmark will look to steal a win against the United States on Saturday, a team coming off of a win of their own against Canada earlier on Friday. Germany won't need to worry about their next game until Sunday when they challenge Norway, with puck drop set for 16:15 local time.

Follow me on Twitter, @StevenEllisNHL.

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