Latvia tops Norway, takes 10th in championship

Latvia’s 4-2 victory over Norway on May 16 has assured it a 10th place finish in the 2006 International Ice Hockey Federation World Championship in Rīga.

Both Latvia and Norway already had been knocked out of competition for the quarterfinals, so the main purpose of this game was to determine the teams’ final standing. Latvia, the hometown team, ended the tournament with two wins and four losses.

Arvīds Reķis scored Latvia’s first goal on a power play 6 minutes 44 second into the first period. according to a game summary posted on the official championship Web site, He was was helped by Mārtiņš Cipulis. Just under two minutes later Viktors Bļinovs, assisted by Aleksejs Širokovs, made it 2-0.

Norway got on the scoreboard 10:58 into the second period. Per-Age Skroder took advantage of a power play and got help from Tore Vikingstad and Anders Myrvold. Latvia regained the two-point lead at 16:02 when Lauris Dārziņš, with an assist from Miķelis Rēdlihs, scored.

Latvia’s edge grew by one more goal 13:16 into the third period. Aleksandrs Semjonovs scored on a power play with help from Leonīds Tambijevs. But Norway wasn’t about to go down without a final shot. Just 26 seconds from the end of the game, Kjell Richard Nygard, assisted by Tommy Jakobsen, made the score 4-2.

Goalkeeper Sergejs Naumovs stopped 16 of Norway’s 18 shots on the Latvian goal, while Norway’s Mathias Gundersen deflected 21 of Latvia’s 25 shots. Latvian players spent 12 minutes in the penalty box, compared to the Norwegians’ 18 minutes.

Latvia finished ninth overall in the 2005 championship in Austria and seventh overall in the 2004 championship in the Czech Republic.


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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