Ex-champions were satisfied with bronze

In a match for bronze medals, the Scandinavians did not give any chances to the Czech hockey players, winning 3:0

Such matches in general are seldom played at half strength, but national teams of Sweden and the Czech Republic have both approached the battle for bronze at the World Championship very motivated and active
By Igor Grishin

Such matches in general are seldom played at half strength, but national teams of Sweden and the Czech Republic have both approached the battle for bronze at the World Championship very motivated and active


Captain of the Swedish national squad, Joel LundqvistFor the Scandinavians, the tournament has been unsuccessful. They arrived in Minsk as defending champions and therefore defeat in a ‘consolatory’ match for ‘bronze’ would be considered a real failure. The Czechs were also very upset by their results in the semi-final against Finland. Jaromнr Jбgr expected to finish his farewell World Championship in the final, and the great Czech player did not plan to leave Minsk without awards. The match was further intriguing by the fact that Swedish team had to play without the assistant head coach. Rikard Grцnborg was disqualified for foul language against head coach of the Russian national team, Oleg Znarok.

In a match for medals, the Scandinavians did not give any chances to the Czech hockey players, winning 3:0. It is important to note, that the activity of the Czechs was recognised at an after-match conference, even by the Head Coach of the Swedish team, Par Marts. From the first minutes, the Czechs actively put pressure on the defensive formations of the Swedish team, twice outnumbering the contenders on the number of shots on goals. But in practice, this impressing statistic did not represent any serious threat. The overwhelming majority of shots were stopped by the defenders, while those which were on goal were easily blocked by Anders Nilsson, confirming his status of one of the best goalkeepers in the tournament. Even Jaromнr Jбgr was not able to save the situation. Carrying out, by his own admission, his last match as a part of the Czech Republic national team, the well-known forward participated in a number of dangerous moments near the net of Nilsson, but he really did not represent a serious threat. In a mixed zone, Jaromнr Jбgr was the last player remaining, having spent almost an hour talking to the journalists who surrounded him, he did not look at all upset, having declared, that he and his partners are not ashamed of this tournament. The Swedes were also happy. They, unlike their contenders, attacked less often, but more powerfully, and in an organised way. Three times their actions brought success. However, if not for Alexander Salбk’s performance, the score could have been much more impressive. All these ‘ifs’ and ‘buts’, however, remain on the ice of the Minsk-Arena. The history books will display the names of the players of the Swedish national team, and they will be written in bronze letter. And it is necessary to note, that even with a very young squad, they made, in Minsk, a serious claim for future success.
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