Latvia advances to qualifying round of hockey World Championship

Latvia has made it through to the qualifying round of the 2010 World Championship in ice hockey after defeating Italy 5-2 in a game played May 12 in Mannheim, Germany.

Sixteen teams are in the contest, split among four groups playing in the preliminary round, according to the officials website of the International Ice Hockey Federation. In its group, Latvia found itself up against hockey powerhouse Canada, as well as Switzerland and Italy. The top three teams in each of the four groups advance to the qualifiying round.

No. 11-ranked Latvia lost its first game May 8 against Switzerland by a score of 3-1, the Swiss exacting revenge for their 2-1 loss to Latvia during the 2009 World Championship.

Latvia also suffered in its match May 10 against Canada, falling 6-1.

The championship began May 7 and continues through to the final game May 23.

Latvia finished seventh overall in the 2009 World Championship, which took place in Switzerland. Latvia made it to the quarterfinal but lost 4-2 to Canada.

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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