Ice hockey adventure ends in defeat

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The Norwegian national ice hockey team’s surprising run in the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) World Championship has been ended in a 4-1 defeat to Finland in the Quarter Finals on Thursday.

Despite taking the lead in the first period, Norway was punished for a number of penalties, during which Finland overwhelmed them with the man advantage. The loss brings to an end an exciting tournament in which the Norwegian underdogs shocked many with impressive wins over Sweden, Austria, Switzerland and France.

Action-packed second period
After an even first period with no goals, Norway took the lead early in the second period through a coolly taken Ken Andre Olimb penalty shot, after Olimb had been taken out when through on goal. Nonetheless, the Finns struck back almost as quickly as they had conceded through Jarkko Immonen, taking advantage of Alexander Bonsaksen being penalized. Finland then took the lead just a few minutes later – benefitting once again from Norway giving away a penalty – with a Tuomo Ruutu goal on the rebound.

Before the end of the second period, Immonen scored his second, once again punishing Norway with a man advantage. They added a fourth through Jani Lajunen just a few minutes later, and Finland did not let Norway back into the game in the final period, riding out 4-1 winners.

‘We have the most bruises’
The Norwegian hero of much of the World Championship, goaltender Lars Haugen, admitted to television channel Viasat that the team “received a couple of penalties that they punished us rock hard on.” He described himself as “quite disappointed,” but noted that “we have had an unbelievably fun two weeks, so we cannot really be disappointed.” He also stressed that the team “has done out best,” adding that “we are probably the team that has the most bruises now.”

Another player, Anders Bastiansen, added to Viasat that “in a week, when this has sunk in a little, we are going to be very satisfied.”

Norway last appeared in the Quarter-Finals in 2008, which they managed to reach with just one win. They officially finish this championship in sixth place. The nation’s best ever World Championship finish was fourth in 1951.

Views and News from Norway/Aled-Dilwyn Fisher
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