Latvia falls to Canada, ending hockey run

Latvia has finished seventh in the International Ice Hockey Federation World Championship after a 4-2 quarterfinal loss May 7 against Canada.

A scoreless first period may have suggested the two teams were evenly matched, but the Canadians got more agressive in the second period and took advantage of power plays to overpower the Latvians. The game was played in the PostFinance Arena in Bern, Switzerland.

Latvian goalkeeper Edgars Masaļskis held steady against the Canadians through the first period, even though they tried 16 times to get the puck into the net, according to a game summary posted on the IIHF’s Web site, The Latvian offense only got off eight shots on the Canadian goal.

Canada turned up the pressure during the second period, taking 22 shots on goal compared to Latvia’s four. At 6 minutes, 37 seconds into the period, Canada’s Dany Heatley scored with help from Derek Roy and Shea Weber. At 14:03, Dan Hamhuis made it 2-0 on a power play. He was assisted by Steve Stamkos and Drew Doughty.

Even though they were short-handed at the time, the Latvians finally got on the scoreboard at 17:30 into the second period. Guntis Galviņš, with help from Herberts Vasiļjevs, got the point against Canadian goalkeeper Chris Mason. Seventeen seconds later, Canada’s Stamkos showed the Latvians the flip side of a short-handed goal, using a power play to his advantage to make it 3-1. He was assisted by Hamhuis.

With just about 45 seconds left in the second period, Latvian forward Lauris Dārziņš was taken out of commission when he was slapped with a two-minute penalty for hooking and a 10-minute penalty for game misconduct.

Latvia tried to reassert itself 1:27 into the third period when Vasiļjevs, assisted by Aleksandrs Niživijs and Aleksejs Širokovs, scored. About a minute and a half later, the Canadians answered when Matthew Lombardi made it 4-2. Colby Armstrong and Braydon Coburn were credited with the assist.

Not that it mattered much in the end, but Canada’s Hamhuis was sidelined with just about two and a half minutes left in the came when he was penalized two minutes
for checking to the head and neck area and 10 minutes for misconduct. In all, the Canadians earned 26 minutes in the penalty box, compared to the Latvians’ 24 minutes.

For the game, Canada had 48 shots on goal, while Latvia had 23.

Canada advances to the semifinals.

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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