Canada stomps on Latvian hockey, 11-0

It didn’t take long for Canada to get the upper hand against Latvia in a May 11 qualifying round contest during the International Ice Hockey Federation’s World Championship in Rīga.

The hometown team will now have a day off to lick its wounds after being mercilessly shut out by Canada, 11-0, according to a game summary posted on the official championship Web site,

Canada’s Jason Williams, assisted by Brad Stuart, scored 5 minutes 41 seconds into the first period. A little more than three minutes later, Williams helped teammate Sidney Crosby up the score to 2-0. And at 14:41, Williams assisted Brad Boyes in adding another goal to make it 3-0. All three points came during power plays.

It was a rough period for Latvia goalkeeper Sergejs Naumovs, enough so that he was pulled with less than five minutes to go and replaced by Mārtiņš Raitums.

The switch didn’t help. At 17:43, on yet another power play, Canada made it 4-0 off the stick of Patrice Bergeron, assisted by Boyes and Crosby.

The second period was kinder to Latvia. Canada scored just once, at 5:58, when Brendan Shanahan teamed up with Williams and Mike Cammalleri on a power play.

Even with a score of 5-0, Canada was not about to stop and inflicted more pain on the hometown team during the third period. Just 24 seconds into the period Jeff Carter made it 6-0 with the assistance of Kyle Calder and Nick Schultz. Not even a minute later, with Latvia down by two players, Matt Pettinger, aided by Trevor Daley and Glen Metropolit, scored the seventh goal.

At 2:24 into the third period, Canada’s Mike Richards made it 8-0 with help from Stuart and Jeff Carter. At 5:59, Calder scored on a power play, putting his team ahead 9-0, and a half minute later returned, with help from Richards and Dan Hamhuis, to make it 10-0. At 10:17, Scott Hartnell took advantage of a power play and, with an assist from Metropolit, scored the last goal of the game.

Canada—heavily favored to win the championship—got off 40 shots on goal, while Latvia managed a respectable 27 against Canadian goalkeeper Marc Denis. Latvian players spent a total of 32 minutes in the penalty box, compared to 16 for the Canadians.

The game was delayed twice, according to a report on the Apollo portal, when Latvians fans unhappy with a referee’s call tossed various items onto the ice.

Latvia goes up against the United States on May 13 and faces Norway on May 16.

Andris Straumanis is a special correspondent for and a co-founder of Latvians Online. From 2000–2012 he was editor of the website.

12 thoughts on “Canada stomps on Latvian hockey, 11-0

  1. Just finished watching the game in Riga. The USA referee was as much a factor as the teams sending Latvians off one after another. Many penalty calls were marginal if that. The game was interrupted twice and the teams were sent to their dressing rooms as angry Latvians fans showered the ice with debris in protest.

  2. What collective spirit. The Latvian fans exude such national pride. There are certain givens in their collectivity like love of country, good food and spirit; and hatred of the russian bear, communism and now the canadian beaver. Priceless. GO LATVIA GO!

  3. Latvians show their unhappiness. Canadians write about it or fire the coach.

    Good show to the few Latvians who resorts to throwing coins on the ice. But be aware that this dangerous for our highly paid players. Insurance do not cover such mishaps.

    I watch the third period and I thought the referee was good. He is not easily intimidated. He probably wants a job in NHL.
    To the few: Yell as much as you want but please do not throw things on the ice. You have been warching to much coach Patrick Roy of the Quebec Ramparts!

  4. Now there’s a stupid comment, putting Canadian hockey in the same context as “the russian bear, communism”. Canada has always opposed communism and in hockey the Russians are the arch enemy. The 1972 Canada-Russia hockey series, which Canada barely won, was a major event, the Cold War played out on ice. Canadians have always been sympathetic to Latvians. The Toronto newspaper today quotes the Canadian players not blaming the fans, and even appreciating them for sticking by their team no matter what. Latvians are liked and appreciated.

    However, I watched the game on Canadian TV and was disappointed with the immaturity of Latvian fans. Quite frankly they embarrassed their country. And drunkenness, which leads to hooliganism, should not be allowed at games. The game as I saw it revealed a far faster and more skillful Canadian team, which the Latvians tried to slow down by hacking and slashing with their sticks. There was real danger of player injuries, which Canada doesn’t want with tougher games ahead. Hence the penalties, of which only a few were marginal; most were well-deserved, and Canada received their share.

    Yes, the refeering was overly strict, but it was equally applied to both teams.
    Why did the Latvians not make adjustments during the game, especially between periods? When a strategy doesn’t work, you have to do something different. The Latvian coach seemed useless, the defence totally inept, the forwards lacking speed. Knowing that the new stricter rules, designed to make the game faster and avoid injuries, would be used, why wasn’t the Latvian team better prepared?

    The Latvian fans were loud, but weren’t prepared to match their money with their mouths. The newspaper reports that only 37 Lats were tossed on the ice from 10,000 fans (plus a few shoes and cellphones). That’s a cheap protest, but reflects financial prudence at least. Better to save the centimes for a bottle of Zelta.

    Although I’m a supporter of Canada in international hockey, Latvia comes a close second. I would love to see Latvia beat Canada. But, that won’t happen until the skill level of Latvian hockey is elevated. That can happen. Canada used to beat the Czehs, Finns and Swedes by high scores, but now it’s a tough battle every time. Good luck to Latvia for the rest of the series. Please especially beat the Americans if you can.

  5. Clearly Canada is the better team and Latvia was not able to step up to the challenge last night. And their superior game drew Latvian penalties. Having said that, refereeing was an issue in last night’s game particularly in the first period when some calls were marginal. The USA referee let the game get out of hand. Last season he worked in the German DEL league and clearly he had little experience applying the new no-hold no-interference rules piloted by the NHL and now in force at the World Championships. A bit more flexibility and he could have avoided the disruptions and ensuing controversy without materially changing the result.

  6. I did not think that you guys would post my comment. Hourra! for Latvian trust!
    I read in an article that this American refereed a final game in Germany Elite League and gave a five minutes roughing at the end of the game to one of the team’s players. The team lost on account of this penality, it said.
    He followed the rules in the Latvia-Canada game and now he is accused of lack of leniency.
    And even if he was to rigid on Latvia, there is no reason for the few in the crowd to get out of hand. When things started to fly on the ice, the IHWC’ boss could have thrown the crowd out and let the game finished in peace. Maybe that would have enflamed the crowd even more.
    I heard that in Switzerland, in one of the game of the playoff of 2004-05, a similar outburst occurred.
    This incident in Riga is now a non-issue, I believe. No one got hurt. I still love the Latvians with all my heart. They are just so latin!
    Seriously, the referee, if he had not, should have called in the coaches and captain of Latvia and Canada and explain that he would apply the rules. But again the players knew the rules.

  7. Hello again:

    Latvia coach Voroviev is one of the best hockey coach in hockey. I would he is the equivalent of Jacques Lemaire of Minnesota Wilds. He coaches Nada Togliatti of the RSL and certainly a very defensive oriented coach. The hockey world has a lot of respect for what he says or does. Here is what he has to say about the game and referee:
    “Мы проиграли потому-что не смогли настроить игроков показывать свой хоккей. Не корректно обвинять судью в нашем поражении.”
    [(see Cnopt) from a penpal in Kazan.]
    This puts this incident in its right perspective.
    I close my case.
    Thanking you all,
    Canadians love Latvians we are not like the bear, the unpredictable, strong, courageous and hungry. But we are the beaver, courageous, hard worker, cooperative, builder, mind is own business, and can make streams into lakes or rivers for fish to live and for bears to eat.

  8. Keep in mind that the NHLers who formed the bulk of the Canadian team played all season with the new no-obstruction rules while those in Europe where most of the Latvian team played continued with the old rules until the World Championships and preceeding exhibition games. Ditto for the USA referee who spent the season in Germany. The Latvia – Canada game reminded me of this year’s pre-season NHL exhibition games where neither the referees or the players knew what was going on and there was an endless parade to the penalty bench before things stabilized and the new game proved more exciting. The question is whether the World Championships was the time to experiment or whether a similar adjustment period should have been given to European players. Take a look at the ITA-DEN game stats. Same USA referee and same endless parade to the penalty box for the Italians – 69 penalty minutes in all. That kind of refereeing kills any game. The USA referee needs time to figure out how to apply the rule book to the on-ice situation. IIHF President Fazel came close to admitting that in an interview published in Diena. He said that the referee could not be faulted because he called it by the book but did imply that there was more to calling a game than the book. Canadian hockey is legend to Latvians and they know that even on a good day taking on Canada is a handful. All they wanted is to be given a chance to play hockey. Latvia proved that even with a team in transtion with youngsters continuing to take over from veterans, they can take a point from the Czechs, play a close game with the USA and beat some of the lesser powers like Slovenia. Yes Latvia would have lost to Canada, yes they would have drawn more penalties, but the 0:11 result had as much to do with the referee as it had to do with Canada. And for the record, the Canadian anthem was loudly cheered by the same fans at the end of the game.

  9. Viesturs, I agree with you that the score would have been at least half, except for all the penatlties which upset the Latvian team especially. I also agree that the rules should not have been implemented in Europe in this fashion. Canada has a long history of taking more penalties than the opposition when playing by IIHF rules, which used to be much stricter than NHL rules. This time the tables are turned.

    I’m sorry that Latvia couldn’t beat the Yanks. And I’m still upset by Canada’s dreadful play against the Czechs today. The first period was the worst I’ve seen a Canadian team play in international hockey (at least recently). They’d better get it together for the Finns tomorrow.

    Andre, would you mind providing a translation of your quotation in Russian for those of us who can’t read Russki?

    By the way, I’m located in Canada and live north of Toronto. My posting of May 12 above says I live in the Excited States. No way! Uz redziti!

  10. Aleksandrs Kuskis wrote:
    Andre, would you mind providing a translation of your quotation in Russian for those of us who can’t read Russki?
    This is rough translation of Vovoviev comment.
    ” We have lost, we could not adjust the players( to show hockey). It is not correct to accuse the judge of our defeat. ”
    I did not know that the players at the IHWC did not practice with new rules. I thought most hockey leagues adopted the new set of rules.

    I also thought that most Latvians understood Russian. So I guess in Latvia they do but those that live in Canada and have Latvian ancestry would not care or need to speak Russian.

    After our lost to the Tzech, I lost a little faith. Finland is hungry for the gold and they have an excellent team. Yes the game tomorrow is a must to see. It should be a dandy.

    I found out that there are close to 25000 people of Latvian origin that live in Canada.

  11. Check out the game commentary by Andrew Podnieks on the official IIHF web page. “Marginal calls”and “routine defensive” efforts says it all. Podnieks is a Canadian of Latvian descent and a prolific hockey author and reporter.

  12. Andrew Podnieks is quite a writer. I remember his writes up from Vienna at the last championship. He also has quite a vocabulary. I don’t think I have ever seen the word “apoplectic” meaning “very angry”.

    Anyway today the Latvians cheered for Finland their neighbour to the North. Canada played well. Saved by our goaler again. I believe if the Tchec do not play us another trick we will gold. I believe Russia is manageable.

    I just bump unto this site looking for Latvian side of the story of the incident.
    I a glad I dropped by. I am a retired agricultural representative from Ontario with a passion for hockey.

    I raise my hat to you all for your friendliness and passion for hockey!

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