Latvia defeated Sweden in a three-1 upset Thursday, knocking the Swedes out of the IIHF Planet Championship in the quarterfinals. Sweden played the elimination game without the need of 1 of their prime players, with Rasmus Sandin nevertheless out of the lineup with a reduced-physique injury.
The loss marks the fourth straight tournament exactly where Sweden failed make the podium, final undertaking so with a gold medal win in 2018. Group Latvia, playing at residence in Riga, will advance to the semifinals for the initial time in the tournament’s history.
HISTORY Produced!@lhf_lv defeats @Trekronorse to punch their ticket to the #IIHFWorlds semi-finals!
Game Story: https://t.co/4SNVeWnt9G pic.twitter.com/KLHUmMkUks
— IIHF (@IIHFHockey) May 25, 2023
The absence of Sandin drastically hindered the Swedes. Immediately after a stellar start off to the tournament, Sandin was injured Tuesday by a brutal knee-on-knee hit from Group USA’s Michael Eyssimont. He would not return to the game. Eyssimont was ejected from the match and was later suspended 1 game for the hit.
Rasmus Sandin is in a lot of discomfort and has left the game immediately after Michael Eyssimont got him in the knee. #IIHFworlds pic.twitter.com/B0upxvDpSM
— Steven Ellis (@SEllisHockey) May 23, 2023
Group Sweden was initially hopeful that Sandin would be capable to play Thursday. He participated in practice in a complete-speak to jersey on Wednesday, but left the ice limping partway by way of. In the end, he did not return for the quarterfinals, exactly where he watched his group shed from afar.
For most of the tournament, Sandin had spent most of the tournament paired with Timothy Liljegren, who had been his longtime defense companion on the Toronto Maple Leafs. Liljegren would score Sweden’s only aim against Latvia, tying the score 1-1 midway by way of the second. The team’s defense would break down in the third, nonetheless: Latvia would score two unanswered markers to finish the game three-1.
Latvia will subsequent face Canada in the semifinals on Saturday, even though Group USA will play against Germany. If Latvia manages a further upset, they will safe a spot on the podium for the initial time in group history.
Meanwhile, Sandin will return residence to Sweden as he prepares for this fall’s education camp back in Washington. In his breakdown day interview, he noted that he appears forward to playing a comprehensive season with the Capitals.
“It’s good to be right here from day 1 and have that complete year,” he told reporters final month. “I believe, initial off, [I’m] just super excited for the summer season, and go back to see household now in the starting, and then get back to perform and be as properly ready as I can for subsequent year…I’m excited for it.”
Headline image: Katie Adler/RMNB