Latvia finally gave the loudest fans at the IIHF world championship something to really cheer about by snapping a 150-minute, tournament long scoreless drought.
Aleksandrs Nizivijs netted the winner 10:05 into the second period to lift Latvia to a 3-0 win over Slovenia last night at the Metro Centre before an announced crowd of 7,806.
More than 1,000 Latvian fans — who supported their team from the tournaments’ opening faceoff — roared in approval as Latvia sent Slovenia to the relegation round.
“A ton just fell off the shoulders because this is the game we had to win,” said Latvian assistant captain Herberts Vasiljevs. “If we didn’t win, even our fans wouldn’t have understood that, because we are a better team than Slovenia.”
Today’s schedule sees Finland take on Slovakia at 4:30 p.m.
At Quebec City, unbeaten Russia clinched first in Group D with a 4-1 win over Denmark. Alexander Ovechkin, Sergei Fedorov, Konstantin Gorovikov and Maxim Afinogenov scored in the win.
San Jose Sharks goaltender Evgeni Nabokov has announced he will join the Russians, a big boost to the squad.
Also yesterday, the Czech Republic beat Italy 7-2, with two goals from Radim Vrbata and a three-assist outing from Toronto Maple Leafs defenceman Tomas Kaberle.