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. Workforce Latvia, taking part in 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:

— IIHF (@IIHFHockey) May 25, 2023

The absence of Sandin drastically hindered the Swedes. After a stellar begin to the event, Sandin was injured Tuesday by a brutal knee-on-knee hit from Workforce 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 quite a lot of ache and has left the sport after Michael Eyssimont bought him within the knee. #IIHFworlds

— Steven Ellis (@SEllisHockey) May 23, 2023

Workforce Sweden was initially hopeful that Sandin would have the ability to play Thursday. He participated in apply in a full-contact jersey on Wednesday, however left the ice limping partway by way of. In the end, he didn’t return for the quarterfinals, the place he watched his group lose from afar.

For a lot of the event, Sandin had spent a lot of the event paired with Timothy Liljegren, who had been his longtime protection accomplice on the Toronto Maple Leafs. Liljegren would rating Sweden’s solely aim in opposition to Latvia, tying the rating 1-1 halfway by way 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 Workforce USA will play in opposition to 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 seems to be ahead to taking part in a whole season with the Capitals.

“It’s good to be right here from day one and have that full 12 months,” he instructed reporters final month. “I feel, 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 12 months…I’m excited for it.”

Headline picture: Katie Adler/RMNB

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