Denmark's men and women are both making their Olympic debuts in hockey at the 2022 Winter Olympics, and Wednesday morning the Danish men earned their first Olympic win in their first-ever Olympic game with a 2-1 triumph over the Czech Republic.
While the Czechs were largely in control for most of the tilt, a two-goal first period helped carry the Danes to victory.
Defenseman Markus Lauridsen opened the scoring after his shot was redirected near the midway point of the opening stanza, giving the Danes their first-ever goal in men's hockey at the Olympics.
Minutes later, longtime NHLer Frans Nielsen scored on a penalty shot to double the Denmark lead. Nielsen earned the penalty shot while his team was in the middle of killing off a penalty of their own. Thanks to a nifty defensive play near the blue line, he created a shorthanded rush that forced a Czech defender to take a penalty.
Czech forward Roman Cervenka netted a goal in the second period to cut the Denmark lead in half, but the Danes were stingy defensively for the remainder of the game and did an outstanding job of locking up the high-danger scoring areas. The Czechs nearly tied the game in the contest's final minute, but the shot from Tomas Kundratek hit the post, and the Danes were able to recover and let the clock reach zeroes.
Danish netminder Sebastian Dahm was outstanding throughout the tilt, finishing the game with 39 saves on 40 shots against.
Denmark was not originally expected to make much noise in the men's tournament, but after their performance Wednesday morning, they could become one of the compelling stories of these Olympic Games.
The Danes will next play Thursday night at 11:10 p.m. ET against the ROC.
Click here to view all the stats from the Denmark's win over the Czechs, and click here to watch the full event replay from start to finish.