Latvia’s hopes to advance to the quarter-finals of the International Ice Hockey Federation World Championship barely stayed alive May 1 as the national team skated to a 1-1 tie with Switzerland.
The Swiss were expected to dominate Latvia, but ran into a wall—goalkeeper Artūrs Irbe. The Swiss tried to get the puck past him 25 times, succeeding just once when Marc Reichert scored at 11 minutes 42 seconds into the third period, according to official game results posted on IHWC.net.
Reichert’s point was in answer to Latvia’s only goal of the game, which came just under three minutes earlier. Forward Grigorijs Panteļejevs got his shot past Swiss goalkeeper Martin Gerber thanks to assistance from Aleksandrs Ņiživijs and Oļejs Sorokins.
The Latvians were generally well-behaved compared to their challengers, repeating a pattern seen in earlier games in the championship. Latvian players spent a total of 14 minutes in the penalty box, compared to 26 for the Swiss.
Latvia now faces Austria in a May 3 game. A victory against the Austrians is crucial for Latvia if it is to have a shot at the quarter-finals.
The world championship is being played in Prague and Ostrava in the Czech Republic.
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