Latvia falls 8-2 against Russia in Olympic men’s hockey

Latvia did not go down without a fight as it lost its Feb. 16 preliminary round men’s ice hockey match against Russia during the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver.

Latvia’s only two goals in the 8-2 game came early in the third period off the sticks of Herberts Vasiļjevs and Ģirts Ankipāns, according to results posted on the official Web site of the Olympics,

The Russians, among the teams favored to do well in the Olympics, had 45 shots on goal to Latvia’s 20.

Russia’s first goal was recorded at 2:38 into the first period. Danis Zaripov, assisted by Sergei Federov and Ilya Nikulin, scored against Latvia goalkeeper Edgars Masaļskis. Alexander Radulov, assisted by Federov and Dmitri Kalinin, and Alexander Ovechkin, aided by Alexander Semin, added two more goals before the end of the period.

At 3:18 into the second period, Russia upped the score to 4-0 on a power play. Evgeni Malkin scored with help from Maxim Afinogenov and Ilya Kovalchuk.

Latvia’s first response occurred a half-minute into the final period. Vasiļjevs, assisted by Aleksandrs Ņiživijs and Mārtiņš Cipulis, scored against Russian goalkeeper Evgeni Nabokov, making it 4-1.

But Russia answered with three more goals in quick succession. Goals were scored by Ovechkin, assisted by Pavel Datsyuk; Zaripov, assisted by Sergei Zinovyev; and Kovalchuk, aided by Malkin and Fedor Tyutin.

At 3:35 in the final period, Latvia’s Ankipāns made the score 7-2. He was helped by Jānis Sprukts and Mārtiņš Karsums.

With just a bit more than a minute left in the game, Russia’s Alexei Morozov capped the score at 8-2 with an assist from Andrei Markov.

The Latvians spent a total of 16 minutes in the penalty box compared to the Russians’ 10 minutes.

Latvia’s next game in the preliminary round is against the Czech Republic. The match is scheduled at 4:30 p.m. PST on Feb. 19 in Vancouver’s Canada Hockey Place.

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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