Day 8 Summary: Sweden and Finland in Final Again, Switzerland and Czech Republic to Play for Bronze – 09.12.2018

The fans at the O2 Arena were very close witnessing a historic milestone. Two minutes before the end of regulation, Switzerland was leading against Sweden and could have sent Sweden to the bronze medal match for the first time in history. However, the Scandinavians equalized and in the end won the penalty shoot-out to advance to the final. They will fight for the title against Finland that beat the home team. Latvia and Germany will repeat their encounter from group A, this time in the 5th place match. Norway and Denmark from group B will fight for the 7th place at the tournament.

Latvia – Norway 6-5 SO (1-2, 1-1, 3-2 – 0-0, 1-0)

Latvia and Norway played for a spot in the 5th place match on Sunday. Both teams fought for the victory until the very last moments. For most of the match, the Norwegians were the better side, but the Latvians were more efficient in converting their chances and they also managed to come back from being two goals down at one moment. The match was dramatic and full of emotions. It ended 5-5 after sixty minutes and the overtime didn’t decide either. So, for the first time at the tournament, a penalty shoot-out was to decide. After two converted penalty shots by Artis Raitums and Klavs Jansons, Latvia celebrated a 6-5 victory.

Denmark – Germany 2-4 (1-0, 0-2, 1-2)

Thanks to two goals and one assist by Janos Bröker Germany defeated Denmark and will face Latvia in the 5th place match, whereas Denmark will take on Norway in the 7th place game. The match offered a close battle, in which basically every minute a different team had the upper hand. The Danes created several chances to tie the game but failed to convert them. And when they finally scored the desired equalizer in the third period, it was disallowed for high-sticking. Both Danish goals were scored by the 18-year-old Mathias Glass.

Czech Republic – Finland 2-7 (0-1, 0-2, 2-4)

The beginning of the match was careful from both sides, bound by tactics and perhaps also a bit nervous. But both teams gradually found their rhythm. During the first two periods, the Finns went into a 3-0 lead, which proved decisive. The Czechs reduced the score in the third part and brought a bit of drama into the match, but their desperate pressure late in the match resulted in two Finnish empty-netters. The Finns thus became the first finalists and keep on following their goal – to defend the gold from the previous championship. The Czech team will face Switzerland in the bronze medal match.

Sweden – Switzerland 5-4 SO (1-1, 2-1, 1-2 – 0-0, 1-0)

The second semifinal offered a dramatic spectacle from the very beginning, which didn’t lack almost anything. The spectators saw chances, goals, but also tough tackles, emotions and maximum effort. The Swedes were in the lead for most of the match, but Switzerland fought tooth and nail and even turned the scored around in the third period. Sweden was thus very close to a semifinal loss, which would be their first in history. But the Scandinavian team didn’t lay down their arms, tied the score and eventually decided about their victory in the penalty shoot-out. In the final, they will challenge the reigning champions – Finland.