Tuesday, April 26, 2016

2005 Denmark National Team Jesper Damgaard Jersey

On this date in 2003, Denmark pulled off one of the biggest upsets in the history of the World Championships with a shocking 5-2 win over the United States.

Making it's return to the Top Division for the first time in 54 years, Denmark immediately scored it's biggest hockey victory ever in the opening game of the tournament, which was held in Tampere, Finland.

Kim Staal, who had seven years of professional experience in the Swedish Elitserien, led the Danes with two goals and two assists.

The Americans, with 12 NHLers on it's roster, outshot Denmark 55-22 but could not solve goaltender Peter Hirsch, who made several outstanding saves.

Peter Hirsch photo PeterHirsch.jpg
Peter Hirsch in the Dane's goal

Bo Nordby-Anderson and Staal both scored on breakaways, putting backhanders past American goaltender Ryan Miller 3:42 apart to give Denmark a 2-0 lead in under 10 minutes of the opening period. Jesper Damgaard increased the Danish lead with a one-timer slapshot from the point at 12:21.

Jim Fahey got the United States on the board with a power-play goal at 16:06 of the first period.

At the start of the second period, Chris Rogles, who played in Germany for the Cologne Sharks replaced Miller in the American goal only to have Ronny Larsen score high on the glove side at 3:09 on yet another breakaway.

Denmark vs USA photo DenmarkvsUSA.jpg
Mike Grey crashes the US goal

Kelly Fairchild cut the deficit to 2 with a goal at 2:24 of the third period to give the United States hope, but Hirsch stood strong in goal as the Danes killed of multiple penalties in the period to hold off the Americans despite the huge shot advantage they held.

At the final buzzer, hundreds of rowdy, flag-waving Danish fans celebrated in the stands, with some even brought to tears.

Denmark celebrates photo Denmarkcelebrates.png
Denmark celebrates the finest moment in their hockey history

"We didn't feel the pressure," said Denmark head coach Mikael Lundstrom. "We're not here on vacation. We're not here just to learn, but to play some good games. We know that we have some forwards who can score goals, Kim Staal for instance. We didn't say that we should go out and win, but we said we would do our best ad try to play a good game."

Denmark would lose its next two group games to Russia 6-1 and Switzerland 6-2. Based on their win over the US, the Danes advanced to the next round of group play, where they would tie eventual 2003 World Champions Canada 2-2, as surprising a result as their win over the United States.

Losses to Sweden (7-1) and Latvia (4-2) would end the fun for Denmark, but they had to consider their tournament a success, having avoided relegation in their long-awaited return to the Top Division.

Denmark currently ranks 15th in the IIHF Men's World Rankings and has played at the top level of the World Championships since 2003, finishing as high as 8th in 2010. While finding themselves in the Relegation Round three out of their first seven years in the Top Division, the Danes successfully avoided the drop each time. Starting in 2012, a new format has been in place which has done away with the Relegation Round and Denmark has finished high enough in the Qualification Round standings to remain in the Top Division.

Current Danes in the NHL include the Canucks Jannik Hansen, Mikkel Bødker of the Avalanche, Franz Nielsen of the Islanders, Lars Eller of the Montreal Canadiens, Nikolaj Ehlers of the Jets, who all played full time roles with 67 or more games played, and Oliver Bjorkstrand, who played 12 games for the Blue Jackets plus goaltender Frederik Andersen with the Ducks. Other successful Danes currently play in the top professional league in Sweden.

Today's jersey is a 2005 Denmark National Team Jesper Damgaard jersey. This style of Denmark jersey was part of Nike's updates for all the national teams in 2005 and was only worn once before the change to the Nike Swift template for 2006.

Damgaard, a defenseman, was the long-time captain of the Danish National Team and played for Denmark at the World Championships 17 times, at one time leading the national team in games played with 240.

Denmark 2005 jersey photo Denmark2005F.jpg
Denmark 2005 jersey photo Denmark2005B.jpg

Today's video section begins with Denmark's top ten goals since earning their promotion in 2003.

Our final highlight today is Lars Eller's first NHL goal, which came in his debut on November 5, 2009.

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