Latvia defeated Sweden in a 3-1 upset Thursday, knocking the Swedes out of the IIHF World Championship within the quarterfinals. Sweden performed the elimination recreation with out one in every of their prime gamers, with Rasmus Sandin nonetheless out of the lineup with a lower-body harm.
The loss marks the fourth straight event the place Sweden failed make the rostrum, final doing so with a gold medal win in 2018. Group Latvia, enjoying at residence in Riga, will advance to the semifinals for the primary time within the event’s historical past.
HISTORY MADE!@lhf_lv defeats @Trekronorse to punch their ticket to the #IIHFWorlds semi-finals!
Recreation Story: https://t.co/4SNVeWnt9G pic.twitter.com/KLHUmMkUks
— IIHF (@IIHFHockey) May 25, 2023
The absence of Sandin significantly hindered the Swedes. After a stellar begin to the event, Sandin was injured Tuesday by a brutal knee-on-knee hit from Group USA’s Michael Eyssimont. He wouldn’t return to the sport. Eyssimont was ejected from the match and was later suspended one recreation for the hit.
Rasmus Sandin is in lots of ache and has left the sport after Michael Eyssimont obtained him within the knee. #IIHFworlds pic.twitter.com/B0upxvDpSM
— Steven Ellis (@SEllisHockey) May 23, 2023
Group Sweden was initially hopeful that Sandin would have the ability to play Thursday. He participated in observe in a full-contact jersey on Wednesday, however left the ice limping partway by means of. Finally, he didn’t return for the quarterfinals, the place he watched his group lose from afar.
For many of the event, Sandin had spent many of the event paired with Timothy Liljegren, who had been his longtime protection associate on the Toronto Maple Leafs. Liljegren would rating Sweden’s solely purpose towards Latvia, tying the rating 1-1 halfway by means of the second. The group’s protection would break down within the third, nevertheless: Latvia would rating two unanswered markers to complete the sport 3-1.
Latvia will subsequent face Canada within the semifinals on Saturday, whereas Group USA will play towards Germany. If Latvia manages one other upset, they’ll safe a spot on the rostrum for the primary time in group historical past.
In the meantime, Sandin will return residence to Sweden as he prepares for this fall’s coaching camp again in Washington. In his breakdown day interview, he famous that he appears ahead to enjoying a whole season with the Capitals.
“It’s good to be right here from day one and have that full yr,” he informed reporters final month. “I believe, first off, [I’m] simply tremendous excited for the summer time, and return to see household now at first, after which get again to work and be as properly ready as I can for subsequent yr…I’m excited for it.”
Headline picture: Katie Adler/RMNB