Denmark pumped for relegation round
WES GILBERTSON, QMI Agency
|Denmark players celebrate a goal against Canada during a World Junior Hockey Championship match at Rexall Place in Edmonton Alta., Dec. 29, 2011. (DAVID BLOOM/QMI Agency)
CALGARY - The Swiss are admittedly bummed about being in the relegation round.
Their opponents in Monday's matchup at the Saddledome seem genuinely excited about it.
This is what the Danes have been waiting for.
"This is our little tournament and we knew it from the start -- that we weren't going to beat USA or Canada or the big teams," said Team Denmark forward Nicklas Jensen. "This is our final. This is where we have to step up now. Our goal is to keep playing in the A pool and not move down, so these next two games here are so important for us. We have to win."
In addition to Denmark and Switzerland, Latvia and Team USA are also competing in the relegation round. The lowest finisher will be demoted to Division I for the next event, with Denmark and Latvia the most likely candidates.
Despite being outscored 38-6 in four straight roundrobin losses at Rexall Place, including a 10-2 loss to Team Canada, the Danes don't want to return to the second-tier event. After Sunday's practice at the Saddledome, they insisted they're having a great time at the world junior tournament, even if they've suffered some lopsided losses.
"The spirit is very important," said forward Anders Schultz. "When you play against Canada and those teams and you lose, like, 10-2, you have to keep the spirits high or nobody will want to play. You have to keep the spirit high and be happy."
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