They scored another victory just before the weekend but lost badly later on, so Norway’s national ice hockey team also lost its chance to compete in the quarter-finals at the World Championships in the Czech Republic. They did, however, secure a spot in the championships next year.
Friday’s win over Slovenia, by a score of 3-2, followed the Norwegians’ only other victory in championship action on Wednesday. But on Saturday it all came to a humiliating end: Norway lost its match against top rival Denmark by a score of 4-1. The embarrassing result meant Norway lacked the points to move into the quarter-finals.
“I’m stuck with a feeling it was unnecessary to perform as we did,” goalkeeper Lars Haugen told state broadcaster NRK. “It was a bitter loss.” He conceded that Norway “didn’t deserve to win,” but “the manner in which we lost was unacceptable.” The team was viewed as lacking zeal and aggression on the ice against Denmark.
The team was still scheduled to play a final championship match against Belarus on Tuesday, but its result won’t matter much since there’s no chance the Norwegians can redeem themselves in this World Championships. The match result will, however, contribute towards Norway’s ranking and, as newspaper Aftenposten wrote, the best possible starting point to qualify for the next Winter Olympics.