Here, Dan Jensen scores Denmark's first goal against Sean Burke. Canada had to come from behind to get a tie Denmark stunned Canada here this afternoon in Turku, playing the Maple Leaf to a 2-2 tie at the Elysee Arena in the first game of the Qualifying Round. It was worth just a point in the standings to the Danes, but it made up for a 47-0 walloping Canada administered the small hockey country in the 1949 World Championships. Things have changed a great deal in 54 years.
From the outset Canada played uninspired hockey, but at 4:39 a harmless point shot from defenceman Jay Bouwmeester found the back of the net and Canada had a 1-0 lead. That was the last routine moment of the afternoon. The Danes lined five men up in the centre ice area and clogged all passing lanes the entire game, forcing the Canadians to dump the puck in. When Canada refused to play into that trap, it was the puck carrier having to beat four men to get to the net, and this just never happened.
As against the USA, Danish goalie Peter Hirsch was the hero of the hour The Danes had only two genuine scoring chances in the first period and they capitalized on both in the later stages of the first 20 minutes. Dan Jensen took a long shot on goalie Sean Burke while a delayed penalty on Canada had the Danes' own netminder Peter Hirsch on the bench for the extra skater. The high shot eluded Burke, and the game was tied. Just 21 seconds later, Lars Molgaard found himself alone in front with the puck, and he drilled a slapshot from about ten feet out over the glove of Burke. Just like that the score was 2-1 for Denmark, and Canada, stunned, was on its heels.
Canada did not respond well to the adversity. The team did not play a physical game, and cohesive passing was all but absent. Gone was the emotion from the inspired 3-1 win over Sweden before a capacity crowd to close out the Preliminary Round, and although theCanadians generated more than enough scoring chances to win, they had no finish to their plays.
Late in the second period Daniel Briere won the draw back to Bouwmeester, and he wristed a lazy shot on goal that Hirsch didn't see in time. It got Canada back into the game "The hope was to put shots on net and something would happen," Bouwmeetser said afterwards, though he didn't realize how little would happen over the course of 60 minutes. The teams went to their dressing rooms—stationed, incidentally, right beside each other—with the score tied 2-2.
"That's the game we should play, very simple and boring and the longer the game goes the better we are," said Kim Staal. "The Canadians were getting more and more frustrated, so that's when we knew we had a chance."
Canada, however, did not learn its lesson from two periods of frustration and ineffectiveness. The third was much of the same as the first two, Canadian individual efforts being thwarted and the Danes getting the puck out more often than not when Canada dumped it in. The final minutes of the game were marked by a frantic Canadian attack which had been lacking for the first 56 minutes, and the ending got even weirder when backup goalie Jan Jensen received a minor penalty for roughing while on the bench. A scrum had ensued between players on ice, and Jensen reached over the boards and cuffed a Canadian. The ensuing power play, though, was killed to perfection by the Danes, and at the final horn they mobbed their goalie in celebration while the Canadians skated to Burke with heads bowed and pride broken.
"We got into a comfort zone on ice," coach Andy Murray said afterward. "We had plenty of chances but just couldn't put them in. It seems that at every World Championships, Canada always has one of these types of games."
"They played the type of game we knew they'd play, but we didn't respond the way we needed to," Burke said in lower tones. "We got frustrated and we didn't have the jump we needed."
Canada outshot the Danes 42-22 and were sometimes at their most effective when killing a penalty, which they had to do seven times today.
Denmark will now face Sweden tomorrow while Canada must wait until a Sunday date with Switzerland to get back into the game, so to speak.
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