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Latvia upsets Sweden at IIHF World Hockey Championship

The Canadian Press
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The Hockey News
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Latvia upsets Sweden at IIHF World Hockey Championship

The Canadian Press
By:

BERN, Switzerland - Latvia scored a shootout win over Sweden on Monday for the first major upset at the IIHF World Hockey Championship.

Tied 2-2 after overtime, Aleksandrs Nizivijs put Latvia ahead 3-2 in the shootout and Latvia goalie Edgars Masalskis made a pad save on Magnus Johansson,

Sweden outshot Latvia 40-21 but could not put away a determined opponent roared on by its noisy, drum-wielding supporters.

In the 11 previous meetings between the two, Latvia's best result was a tie.

Sweden still advances to the second round with a point earned in the loss, while Latvia must avoid defeat in regulation time against Austria on Wednesday.

In other action Monday, the U.S. defeated Austria 6-1, the Czechs beat Norway 5-2 and Finland downed Denmark 5-1. All three winners advanced to the 12-team qualification round, which begins Thursday.

Sweden went ahead at 15:26 of the first perdiod through Linus Omark, who had five assists Saturday in a 7-1 win over the Austrians.

IKrisjanis Redlihs, one of 14 Dinamo Riga players playing for Latvia, tied it up with a slapshot high to the glove side of goalie Stefan Liv. And the Latvians moved ahead 2-1 at 19:15 of the second period when Lauris Darzins tapped home a pass by the Redlihs younger brother, Mikelis.

Sweden tied it 44 seconds into the third, on Johansson's power-play slapshot from just inside the offensive blue-line.

Atlanta Thrashers defenceman Tobias Enstrom hit the goalpost and then had to leave with a bloody face and apparent shoulder injury from a collision on the boards with Martins Karsums.

In five minutes of overtime, Sweden dominated possession but Latvia had the clearest chance which Martins Ciplius fired wide.

U.S. 6 Austria 1

Forwards Dustin Brown, Drew Stafford, Patrick O'Sullivan, Jason Blake and Lee Stempniak and defenceman Matt Niskanenl scored for the Americans

American goalie Robert Esche, a former NHLer playing in Russia, made 25 saves for his second win of the tournament.

Czech Republic 5 Norway 2

Jan Marek, Petr Cajanek and Josef Vasicek scored in the first 13 minutes to give the Czechs a commanding 3-0.

Norway replaced goaltender Pal Grotnes with Andre Lysenstoen to start the second period and closed the gap to 4-2 with goals from Tommy Jakobsen and Mats Zuccarello Assen.

Miroslav Blatak and Jakub Klepis closed out the Czech scoring.

Finland 5 Denmark 1

Antti Miettinen and Niko Kapanen each scored twice for the Finns, who also got a goal from Tuomas Pihlman. Julian Jakobsen scored for Denmark.

Denmark now must beat Norway on Wednesday to progress to the second round.

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Latvia upsets Sweden at IIHF World Hockey Championship