Italy gets surprising 4-3 win over Denmark in overtime
STOCKHOLM – Italy’s Giulio Scandella’s overtime goal gave his team a 4-3 win over Denmark to level their record at the 2012 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship.
It was also Italy’s first win against Denmark in four tries at the World Championships.
“I just picked up the puck at the blueline and I cut in front of one of their forwards that was right behind me,” said Scandella. “When I looked up, I saw one of their D-men change and it gave me open ice to go. I just took advantage of it and used my speed to get to the net.”
After taking a 2-0 in the first period lead, Italy saw Denmark battle back to tie the game in the second period and then take the lead. But Italy would score the final two goals of the game for their first victory in Stockholm.
Over the first twenty minutes, Denmark was unable to convert on any of their chances. In the period Daniel Bellissimo stopped all ten shots he faced. Italy, however, pounced on their scoring opportunities, making the most of them.
Luca Ansoldi’s goal with 5:48 remaining in the first period gave Italy a 1-0 lead.
Some 18 seconds later Italy’s Matt de Marchi scored to surprise the Danes and send his team up 2-0. De Marchi pounced on a loose puck to beat Frederik Andersen, making his second start of the tournament for Denmark.
“I don’t think we took the Italians lightly but they got those two quick goals in the first period,” said Jesper Jensen.
In the second period Denmark wasted no time in answering back. Lars Eller got things going 15 seconds into the period off a pass from Frans Nielsen. Eller’s wrist shot flew past Bellissimo on his glove side.
Jesper Jensen scored the equalizer with Italy’s Luca Felicetti in the penalty box for high sticking. Morten Green’s slapshot was blocked off the skate of Thomas Larkin and rebounded to the stick of Jensen who was uncontested to Bellissimo’s right.
Denmark took their first lead of the game when Jensen scored his second of the period and the game. Matt de Marchi was carrying the puck when he overskated it at his own blueline. Jensen picked it up and went backhand forehand that Bellissimo was helpless to defend.
“Being up 2-0 after one, we came into the dressing room and said that our first five minutes of the second period has to be the best,” said Italian forward Daniel Tudin. “Then the opposite happened. We let in two goals in five minutes, and felt it slipping away. But then we got recomposed, and came back nicely.”
Italy’s de Marchi would make up for his turnover by tying the score 3-3 at 13:56 of the period. Giulio Scandella sent a precision pass from the corner boards on to the stick of de Marchi who was being defended by Kirill Starkov.
Both teams traded chances in the third but would not score until Scandella beat Andersen between the pads in overtime.
Jannik Hansen missed today’s match after being suspended for a game for a hit in Denmark’s first game against the Czech Republic.
BY JOHN SANFUL