ROC men's hockey gets a scare from Denmark but advances to semis

ROC-Denmark - Credit: Harry How/Getty Images

ROC-Denmark – Credit: Harry How/Getty Images

The Russian Olympic Committee advanced to the semifinal round in men’s hockey with a 3-1 win over Denmark, but it was not without a scare.

The ROC entered the game as heavy favorites, with a roster full of players from the KHL. Denmark, meanwhile, was making its Olympic debut in hockey at the 2022 Winter Olympics. 

But Denmark gave the ROC a fight despite being outshot 40-18, thanks to the heroics of goaltender Sebastian Dahm, who made 37 saves. Down 2-1 in the third period, the Danes had several chances to even the score but could not convert.

The best chance came off the stick of former NHL veteran Frans Nielson, who scored Denmark’s only goal. Nielson had a point-blank opportunity on a 2-on-1 shorthanded breakaway with under six minutes to play, but was stopped by the right pad of ROC goaltender Ivan Fedotov.

On the same ROC power play, Slava Voynov, another former NHL player, extended the ROC lead to 3-1 on a wrist shot from the high slot. 

The ROC will face the winner of the Switzerland-Finland quarterfinal in the semis on Friday.

Nikita Nesterov gave the ROC a 2-1 lead late in the second period on a booming slapshot off a pass by Nikita Gusev, with the puck going in off the crossbar. 

Nieslon tied the game for Denmark at 1-1 early in the second period with a power play goal. Nielsen beat Fedotov off a scramble in front of the net after a shot from the point. It was Denmark’s first goal against the ROC in four periods.

Dahm was immediately peppered with both shots and offensive zone time by the ROC, which outshot Denmark 18-1 in the first period.

Dahm, who had been excellent throughout the tournament, was spectacular in fending off a majority of the ROC onslaught and kept the Danes in the game. 

Vadim Shipachyov, the ROC captain, scored the 13 minutes into the first period, corralling a strange carem off a slap shot by Nikita Gusev on the other side of the net, and firing it in from a tough angle off the pads of Dahm.

The ROC was 2-1 in preliminary round action, but allowed six goals in its only loss in overtime to the Czech Republic. One of the wins came against Denmark, a 2-0 result.

Denmark beat Latvia 3-2 in the elimination round, while the ROC had a bye as it clinched the top seed in its group. 

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