It might be an exaggeration to say that tonight’s 2-1 Sweden win over the Czech Republic was a must-win game, but had the hosts dropped to 0-2 to start the World Championship it would have been a decidedly negative development.
The last host nation to lose the first two games was Austria in 2005 and before that Switzerland in 1998. Tonight, both goalies stole the show in the exciting end-to-end game.
As it was, the Swedes came out with greater resolve than its opponents, and the sold-out crowd supported Tre Kronor to its full ability. That crowd included some of Sweden’s finest hockey royalty, namely Nicklas Lidström, Peter Forsberg, and Bengt-Åke Gustafsson.