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The historical happiness of Latvia! He scored in extra time and left the United States without World Cup medals

Date: October 4, 2023 Time: 16:23:01

The historical happiness of Latvia! He scored in extra time and left the United States without World Cup medals

Sergey Emelyanov May 28, 2023, 18:25 Moscow time

Not having suffered a single defeat in regulation time, the Americans were even without the bronze medals of the tournament.

The national teams of Latvia and the United States entered the third-place match at the 2023 Ice Hockey World Championships by different trajectories. The Balts, after a sensational victory in the quarterfinals over the Swedes (3:1) in the semifinals, made the Canadian team very nervous. After two periods, Harijs Vitolins’s charges even led 2-1, but stunning goals from the Canadians in the final third turned the tide. First, Jack Quinn hit the gates of Artur Shilov with a shot from behind the goal line, and then the winning goal masterpiece created future second NHL draft number Adam Fantilli.

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Despite the insulting defeat in the semi-final (2:4), at home, the Latvian hockey players have already become national heroes anyway. Latvian President Egils Levits even came to Tampere on Sunday to personally attend the third-place match with the Americans. During a conversation with journalists, Levits jokingly offered to make goalkeeper Shilov the country’s defense minister.

“This is our greatest achievement in hockey. Latvia is one of the top four hockey countries in the world. The atmosphere in Riga was crazy. Hockey is the number one sport in Latvia and Finland. In other parts of the world it is soccer. Latvians feel connected to Finns and Finns feel connected to Latvians. Now the Finns must support Latvia.

Excellent game goalkeeper Shilov? I will think about making him the next Minister of Defense of the country (laughs)”, said the politician.

But the mood of the Americans after the failure in the semifinals was simply zero. Before the match with the German national team (3:4 OT), the Stars and Stripes remained the only team in the entire World Cup that had not yet tasted defeat. David Quinn’s team showed the most attractive game, and it seemed that this time the Americans should definitely break the disastrous 11-game losing streak in the semifinals of the world championship.

According to the plan of the US team, most of yesterday’s game was also taking shape. The Americans began the match with two goals scored in the fourth minute of the first half. The Germans recovered quite quickly, but in the second third, the Stars and Stripes again took the lead and held the lead until the very end, when, even playing with empty nets, the representatives of European hockey managed to transfer the game to the extra time, where everything was decided by the spectacular pass from Frederick Tiffels.

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The Americans suffered their 12th consecutive loss in the semifinals of the world championships, once again losing hope of returning home with gold medals. The last time the US team was crowned world champion was in 1960, winning the tournament. as part of the home Olympics in Squaw. Valley. The only victory in a separate world championship was in 1933, when the American team at the tournament was represented by one of the local clubs.

It is not surprising that after such an offensive failure, the Americans did not immediately join the match for third place. The elimination of Carter Mazur quickly left the Stars and Stripes on ice in the minority, and Robert Bukarts opened the scoring with a penny. After the lost puck, the Americans got going and responded with a goal two minutes later: Rocco Grimaldi, who is playing the best tournament of his career, scored his first goal of the game.


Even before the break, the scenario from the start of the match was repeated again. First, Janis Jaks sent the puck into Casey Desmith’s goal from a penny, but three minutes later Grimaldi scored again. The 30-year-old forward reached the mark of 14 (7 + 7) points in the tournament, thanks to which he became the top scorer in the world championship. The forward, who did not play a single game at the NHL level this season, surpassed the result of the Czech forward Dominik Kubalik (12 points), for whose team the tournament was completed in the quarterfinal phase. Right after the US loss (0:3).


After an eventful initial period, the subsequent course of the match was not so fun. In the second segment, the teams created the minimum number of dangerous chances and, naturally, did not score goals. And the balance on the scoreboard was upset only in the seventh minute of the third period: the Americans won the faceoff, defender Dylan Samberg shot from the blue line, forward Matt Coronato defended with a nickel and finished off the puck. in goal.


For the first time in the match, being in the role of a winning team, the Balts immediately rushed forward and carried out several interesting attacks, one of which ended with a well-aimed strike from defender Christian Rubins. Traded in March from the Ottawa Senators to the Calgary Flames system, the 25-year-old hockey player led off for a pass and placed the puck in the far corner of the faceoff circle, putting the game into overtime.

As in the semifinals with the German team, the Americans again failed to hold a minimal lead. Now the “stars and stripes” after a lost puck rushed to storm Shilov’s possessions, and several times the goalkeeper of the Vancouver Canucks had to save the Latvian national team. At the same time, the Latvians had the last word in regulation: on the last attack, Rodrigo Abols flew into Desmit’s gates on a solo pass and was unable to get past the Pittsburgh Penguins goalie from close range. At the time of the Balts’ number 18 pitch, there were less than ten seconds remaining in the third period.

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The fate of the medal gathering was decided in overtime, in which the Americans couldn’t even establish control over the puck. From the moment of the opening throw-in, the Balts took the lead in the game and ended extra time with a goal.

The same defender Rubins, who saved Latvia from defeat at the end of the third period, became the hero of the game after extra time. Kaspars Daugavins flew into the area and shot to the center, the puck bounced off Rubins after a rebound, who shot straight at goal and scored a brace. For Christian, this was the 22nd game of his World Championship career, and prior to this encounter, he had only two goals to his account.


Having started the World Cup with eight wins in a row and never having suffered a single defeat in regulation time (!), the Americans return home even without bronze medals. The Latvians also showed a historic performance at the world championships and for the first time got on the podium, taking third place. Fantastic result from Harijs Vitolins and his brilliant team.

Puck Henry
Puck Henry
Puck Henry is an editor for ePrimefeed covering all types of news.

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