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Latvia downed by Kazakhstan at IIHF World Championship

Latvia came close to second victory at the International Ice Hockey Championship in Rīga May 22 but were narrowly defeated by Kazakhstan -- the first time the central Asian nation, ranked 16th in the world has beaten Latvia, ranked 10th, at a world championship.

After a scoreless first period, the chance of a perfect start to the tournament for Latvia rose early in the second period when Lauris Darziņš found the net in the 27th minute. The lead lasted ten minutes but then Alexander Shin equalized for the visitors.

Latvia took the lead for a second time in the third period via Rihards Bukarts but just 12 seconds later Kazakhstan restored parity thanks to Jesse Blacker.

Full time and then overtime both passed without further goals, prompting a shoot-out. Despite several opportunities to seal victory, the Latvian team could seize none of them, with Kazakhstan holding their nerve to take two points from the match, while Latvia take one.

Nevertheless, after their heroics winning against Canada 24 hours earlier, the loss to Kazakhstan is an opportunity missed. 

The next action for Latvia will be against Italy on May 24 when they will hope to return to winning ways.    

In other matches Denmark surprised Sweden with a 4:3 victory, the Russian team breezed past the United Kingdom 7:1, Finland narrowly overcame the United States 2:1 and Germany powered past Norway 5:1.

 

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