Latvia sent home after 9-1 loss to Sweden

Latvia’s ice hockey team has been sent packing after a punishing 9-1 loss to Sweden in their final qualifying round game in the 2005 World Championship in Austria.

Latvia will have to be satisfied with a ninth place finish in the championship, one spot lower than in 2004. Ironically, it was Sweden that knocked Latvia out of contention last year, too.

The game didn’t go well for Latvia from almost the first drop of the puck, according to a game summary posted on Just 28 seconds into the first period, Sweden’s Niklas Kronwall got the puck past Latvian goalkeeper Artūrs Irbe. Sweden added two more goals before the end of the period.

Down 0-3, Latvia switched goalies coming into the second period, putting Edgars Masaļskis in the net. But it didn’t help. Sixty-five seconds later, Sweden’s Thomas Rodin got his team’s fourth goal while Latvia was down a man. In fact, Latvian players spent a total of 10 minutes in the penalty box during the period. Sweden’s fifth goal also came on a power play.

Only 24 seconds after the start of the final period, Sweden scored again and continued to add insult to injury with three more goals. Latvia’s only point came 10:04 into the period thanks to Māris Ziediņš, assisted by Miķelis Rēdlihs.

In all, Sweden had 31 shots on goal. Latvia had 20.

Latvia ended up in fifth place out of the six teams in the Group F qualifying round. Ukraine came in last. Only the first four teams advance to the quarterfinals.

A total of 2,349 spectators watched the game in Innsbruck.

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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