Denmark stun Czech Republic to win first-ever Olympic men’s hockey game

Minutes later, longtime NHL player Francois Nielsen scored on a penalty shot to double Denmark’s lead. Nielsen was awarded the penalty shot as his side were on the kill of their own penalty. With some shrewd defensive play near the blue line, he created a shorthanded rush that forced a Czech defender to take a penalty.

Czech striker Romain Cervenka scored a second-half goal to halve Denmark’s lead, but the Danes were tight-fisted defensively for the remainder of the game and did a stellar job of locking down high-danger scoring areas. The Czechs almost tied the game in the last minute of the match, but the shot from Tomas Kundratek hit the post, and the Danes were able to recover and let the clock reach zeros.

danish goalkeeper Sebastien Dahm was outstanding throughout the tilt, finishing the game with 39 saves on 40 shots against.

Denmark weren’t expected to make much of a splash initially in the men’s tournament, but after their performance on Wednesday morning, they could become one of the fascinating stories of this Olympics.

The Danes next play Thursday night at 11:10 p.m. ET against the ROC.

Click here to see all the stats from Denmark’s win over the Czechs, and click here to watch the full replay of the event start to finish.

Catherine J. Martinez