Latvia beats Sweden for the first time ever
Nizivijs scores the game winner in penalty shootout.
Before this game Sweden had never lost to Latvia, but today Latvia won after penalty shots after a strong performance by the hard working team.
Sweden got the important first goal when Linus Omark scored on a rebound after 15:26 just seconds after Stefan Liv made an impressive save on Latvia's best chance of the first period. Omark's goal was the only goal of the period despite some chances for both teams.
The Latvians have a strong power play and showed that when Krisjanis Redlihs tied the game 1-1 from the blueline. Before 1-1 Sweden had most of the play but had difficulties putting any pressure on the Latvian defense. And after the goal Latvia took over more of the game and also took the lead with only 45 seconds left to play of the second period when Lauris Darzins had an easy tap in from close range after a nice pass by Redlihs. A well deserved lead for the Latvians after a solid period.
A late penalty in the second period gave Sweden a power play at the start of third period, and only after 44 seconds Magnus Johansson's shot from the blueline found the way through the traffic in front of the goal and beat Masalskis. After the goal Sweden took over the game completly and it took 10 minutes until Latvia had their first attack of the period.
Tobias Enström had to leave the game bleeding (and with a concussion?) after being checked from behind against the boards. Karsums wasn't given a penalty but with other referees he probably could have been given a game misconduct, it feels like there is a huge variation on how the refs judge these kind of tackles. Sweden had to finish the game with only four defenders as Kenny Jönsson already had left the game with a ligth injury.
Despite the injuries Sweden continued to dominate the period but with hard work Latvia managed to take the game to overtime and penalty shots. And in the penalty shoot out Latvia scored on three of four penalty shots while Sweden only scored on two. Aleksandrs Nizivijs missed the first penalty but scored the game winner in the fourth round.
Latvia - Sweden 3-2 (0-1,2-0,0-1,0-0,1-0)
0-1 (15:26) Linus Omark (J Harju, M Thörnberg)
1-1 (30:20) Krisjanis Redlihs (G Ankipans, M Karsums) PP
2-1 (39:15) Lauris Darzins (M Redlihs)
2-2 (40:44) Magnus Johansson (L Eriksson) PP
Story added on 27th April 2009 at 20:53 GMT
Story submitted by: Fredrik Pålsson.