Latvia advances to hockey quarterfinals

With its 5-2 defeat of Austria, Latvia has assured itself a spot in the quarterfinals of the International Ice Hockey Federation World Championship underway in the Czech Republic. It will now be one of eight teams competing in the next round.

The May 3 game in Prague’s Sazka Arena saw Austria make the first goal while keeping Latvia scoreless through the first period, according to official results posted on the Web site The Latvians came back strong in the second period, scoring three times while Austria added one more point, and then returning in the third period to score twice more.

Latvia’s goals in the second period came from the sticks of Sergejs Žoltoks (assisted in a power play by Arvīds Reķis), Aleksandrs Kerčs (assisted in a power play by Aigars Cipruss and Vjačeslavs Fanduļs), and Atvars Tribuncovs (assisted by Grigorijs Panteļejevs). In the third period, the Latvian goals were made by Reķis (assisted by Kerčs and Leonīds Tambijevs) and Aleksandrs Macijevskis (assisted by Cipruss and Žoltoks).

In all, the Latvians had 26 shots on goal, while Austria had 18. Goalkeeper for Latvia was Artūrs Irbe; for Austria, it was Reinhard Divis.

The statistics also show that Austria had much more time in the penalty box, 29 minutes, than did the Latvians, 8 minutes. But that’s because Austrian forward Markus Peintner got called for boarding and for game misconduct, earning him a total of 25 minutes of cooling-off time and forcing him to sit out most of the second period.

Quarterfinal play begins May 5 in Prague. The final, gold medal, game is scheduled May 9.

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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