An aggressive third period paid off for the U.S. ice hockey team as it managed to shake off Latvia and skate to a 3-1 victory in preliminary round play May 3 during the 2005 World Championship in Austria.
Jānis Sprukts got Latvia’s only goal of the game on a power play 16:17 into the first period, according to game results posted on IHWC.net, the official Web site for the World Championship. The U.S. answered with its first goal 13:36 into the second period, when Doug Weight slipped the puck past Latvian goaltender Artūrs Irbe.
While both teams seemed somewhat evenly matched during the first two periods, the United States put on the heat in the third, getting off 17 shots on goal. Mark Parrish got the game-winning goal 7:44 into the third period while Latvia was down a player. Parrish added another goal two seconds before the final buzzer.
In all, the United States had 30 shots on goal compared to Latvia’s 17.
A total of 5,460 spectators—the majority of them Latvia fans, according to IHWC.net—watched the game in Innsbruck’s Olympiaworld center.
Latvia has now lost its first two games. Despite a surprisingly strong showing, Latvia on April 30 fell to Canada 6-4.
Latvia is expected to fare much better against Slovenia on May 5 in Innsbruck. Slovenia already has been shut out in games against Canada, 8-0, and the United States, 7-0. Latvia, Canada, Slovenia and the United States are competing in Group B of the 16-team championship. The top three teams in each group will advance to the quarterfinals, so a Latvian victory over Slovenia is a must.
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