Canada beat Latvia 2-0 as the two nations met April 30 in the qualifying round of the International Ice Hockey Federation World Championship in Prague, the Czech Republic.
The two teams were relatively evenly matched, according to game statistics posted on the official IHWC.net Web site.
Latvia got off 33 shots against Canada’s goaltender Roberto Luongo, while Canada had 32 against Latvia. In the goal for Latvia was Sergejs Naumovs, not veteran Artūrs Irbe, whom many observers expected would be facing the tough Canadian team.
Canada scored 12 minutes 38 seconds into the first period and again about a minute and a half into the second period.
Latvia’s next games in the qualifying round are May 1 against Switzerland and May 3 against Austria.
Meanwhile, Latvian fans in Prague have been facing some problems with counterfeit tickets and other concerns. According to IHWC.net, a number of invalid tickets were uncovered during the game between Latvia and the Czech Republic.
The Latvian embassy in Prague has helped a number of Latvians who have lost passports, been robbed or faced other problems while in town to support their team, according to the Latvian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
“Unfortunately during this championship,” the ministry said in a statement, “the behaviour and actions of some Latvian fans saddened not only other ice hockey enthusiasts, but left the international public with a negative image of the Latvian people.”
Czech police reportedly have arrested three Latvians for hooliganism and for distribution of counterfeit tickets. In addition, the Fan Club of Latvia, which organized trips to Prague, has been accused by some fans of not fulfilling agreements to arrange for insurance, lodging and tickets, the ministry said. The fans paid between LVL 100 and LVL 300 for the hockey travel packages.
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