Latvia blanks Norway
Masalskis gets shutout as Latvians stay in Group F race
IIHF May 16, 2010
With a 5-0 win over Norway on Sunday, Latvia kept alive its slim hopes of making the quarterfinals. The Latvians exploded for five third-period goals, two by Janis Sprukts.
The Latvians close out the Qualification Round against the Czechs on Monday, while Norway faces Group F-leading Switzerland that day. Norway, Latvia, and the Czechs are currently tied with three points apiece.
This game didn’t provide thrilling hockey for the 1,925 in attendance, unless more than two periods of scoreless action kept you on pins and needles as a fan of either nation. Through two periods, the Latvians and the Norwegians played like they were afraid to lose, but one team had to.
“We knew this was an important game for both teams, so nobody wanted to risk anything on offence,” said Latvia’s Kaspars Daugavins. “Everybody played smart, defensive hockey, no crazy passes in the neutral zone, so it wasn’t a lot of fun to watch.”