Huge Latvia-Sweden hockey game Thursday

Hockey-mania is set to hit new heights in Rīga May 25 with a titanic clash between Latvia and Sweden taking place, with the prize for the winner a place in the IIHF World Championship semi-finals.

The match at "Arena Riga" will start at 20:20, but the live broadcast of the pre-game Hockey Studio show on LTV7 and will start at 19:30

The Swedish national team is the most frequent opponent of the Latvian hockey players in the world championships, with the two teams playing each other 17 times. In none of these battles has Latvia managed to win in regular time. The only victory for Latvia was in 2009 in the penalty shootout (3:2), while in 1997 a draw was recorded (1:1). 

That suggests Sweden will be favorites on paper, but a frenzied home crowd will likely even things up a bit on the ice. And this time the Scandinavians are not in their most powerful possible lineup, because of the absences of NHL players such as Elias Petterson and William Nylander.

However, the Swedes have Jesper Valsted - one of the world's brightest young goalkeeping talents, plus the experienced Lars Johansson. 

As always, you can find full details and more coverage at LSM's dedicated ice hockey section and the official world championship website.

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