Sam Hallam’s first year with the national team is summed up by a loss against Latvia in the World Cup quarter-finals. The host nation advanced to a historic semi-final after 3-1 against Tre Kronor at home in Arena Riga.
– A huge disappointment. I think we have built something good, and we wanted to end this season in a good way. It wasn’t in a quarter-final, Sam Hallam expressed disappointment after the loss.
Tre Kronor’s national team captain was not prepared to list the exit as his biggest failure in his coaching career.
– No, it is not.
If so, which is it?
– It is many. It was a failure when we didn’t go up with Karlskoga HC almost 20 years ago. It still haunts me in my sleep, and so will this. It is difficult to evaluate. I don’t want to put the headline that this is the biggest failure. When you lose, it’s always a failure, but I find it difficult to rank it.
Three Crowns is the law of the people, and this is after all a foray into Latvia.
– Yes, but my teams have always meant a lot to me, wherever I’ve been. I can’t rank a semi-final, a quarter-final, any outing in the last 20 years. To lose, then one fails. Point.
Despite the loss, which everyone involved admitted was a failure, the national team management expressed their support for Sam Hallam.
– The coaches have done an extraordinary job. Ever since the Karjala Cup there has been a structured plan, I am impressed with how they managed this. I’ve been in pro hockey for 27 years and Sam is the best coach I’ve come across in that time, quite honestly. Nobody is close to Sam Hallam, says Tre Kronor’s assistant general manager Josef Boumedienne.
It’s always easy to be a hindsight in a situation like this, but could you have done something differently with the squad build to prevent this outcome?
– We have to evaluate that. You’ll get to ask that question in a week or two. Then I can give you a better answer. It’s hard to gather your thoughts now right after.
Hallam thanked Boumedienne for her words, but did not want to talk further about the dialogue between the two of them.
– I don’t say that in the media, but I really appreciate Josef’s work throughout the year for me. Both his scouting and his contact with the players. And his support for us coaches. We are a team that has started working together and I hope we will get more out of this in the future, he concludes.
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