End comes for Latvia on 4-2 loss to U.S. hockey

Latvia’s last game of the qualifying round won’t be until May 16, but it’s already clear the end has come for the hometown team in the 2006 International Ice Hockey Federation World Championship in Rīga.

The United States beat Latvia 4-2 in a May 13 game in Arena Rīga. Despite the loss, the game was a more even match than Latvia’s disastrous showing against Canada two days earlier.

With Sergejs Naumovs in the goal for Latvia and Craig Anderson in for the United States, both sides went scoreless in the first period, according to a game summary posted on the official championship Web site, IHWC.net.

But 59 seconds into the second period, Ryan Malone, assisted by Mark Cullen and Dustin Brown, scored for the United States. Lauris Dārziņš answered at 2:12, scoring Latvia’s first goal. The United States took the lead again at 14:39 into the period, when Brown scored with help from Phil Kessel.

A minute into the third period, Aleksandrs Semjonovs, assisted by Kaspars Daugaviņš, took advantage of the United States being down by a player and tied the score at 2-2. However, the United States retaliated on two more power plays. At 2:27 into the period, Patrick O’Sullivan scored with help from Cullen. And at 9:50, Ryan Suter added another goal to make it 4-2.

Naumovs stopped 23 of 27 shots on goal from the United States, while Anderson stopped all but two of Latvia’s 24 shots.

U.S. players spent 24 minutes in the penalty box, compared to Latvia’s 22.

Latvia faces Norway on May 16. Like Latvia, Norway also is out of contention for the quarterfinals, according to IHWC.net.

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

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