Today at the Ice Hockey World Championship, the Latvian national team plays a decisive match for getting into the playoffs. In the last round of the preliminary stage, she will play against Switzerland. Kick-off in “Arena-Riga” – 20.20.
A few hours before the Latvia-Switzerland match, another game will take place in Riga, which is of paramount importance in the fight for the last playoff vacancy from Group B (the first three are for Canada, the Czech Republic and Switzerland) – between Slovakia and Norway (beginning – 12 :20).
If the Norwegians take away points from Slovakia, then Latvia will secure a place ahead of schedule in the quarterfinals, which will be held on Thursday (May 25) here in Riga against one of the teams from the other group.
Position in group B before the last round:
1. Switzerland – 18 points (6 games). 2. Czech Republic – 13 (6). 3. Canada – 12 (6). 4. Latvia – 11 (6). 5. Slovakia – 8 (6). 6. Kazakhstan – 7 (7). 7. Norway – 6 (6). 8. Slovenia – 0 (7).
The national team of Latvia has begun the championship with defeats from Canada (0:6) and Slovakia (1:2). This was followed by the first ever victory over the Czechs (4:3 OT) and three more victories – 2:1 over Norway, 3:2 over Slovenia and 7:0 over Kazakhstan.
Swiss hockey players took first place in the group ahead of schedule, having won six victories in a row – over Slovenia (7:0), Norway (3:0), Kazakhstan (5:0), Slovakia (4:2), Canada (3:2) and Czech Republic (4:2). At the same time, in the first three matches of the tournament, the Alpines did not concede at all, and only in the 4th round they were “opened” by the Slovaks.
In Latvia, at the home world championship so far, the most productive are Rodrigo Abols (4 + 1), Kaspars Daugavins (2 + 3) and Rudolfs Balcers (0 + 5), who have 5 points each, Rihards Bukarts (3 + 1) have 4 points each and Mārtiņš Dzierkals (2+2).
It is known that Arthur Shilov will take the place at the gates of the Latvian national team in the game against Switzerland. In the opening game of the World Cup against the Canadians, at 0:2, Shilov replaced Punnenov in the 5th minute, and since then he has been the only defender of the gates of Latvia in the home tournament.
There have been changes in the application of the Latvian national team before the last round. Striker Andris Jerins (0+3) who got a groin injury will be replaced by striker Georg Golovkov (he spent the season at the club level in the Swedish Södertälje), who was in the nearest reserve of the national team. Due to an injury, defender Robert Mamchits will not play either. But the day before, defender Christians Rubins flew to the national team from across the ocean.
In addition, Ronalds Kenins did not train on the morning of the upcoming match. The striker missed the previous match against Kazakhstan due to back problems.
The top scorers for the Swiss at the 2023 World Cup are Malgin (2+4) and Haas (1+5), another 5 players scored 5 points each. The best scorer with four goals is Niederreiter.
Mayer defended the gates of the Swiss in matches with the Czechs, Slovaks and Norwegians, Genoni played against the Canadians, Slovenes and Kazakhstanis.
Teams of Latvia and Switzerland met at the World Championships 12 times. Latvia has never managed to win in regular time (+2-10). The first victory of Latvia took place in 2009 – 2:1 in a shootout (decisive realized Alexander Nizhiviy). And in 2015, Latvia pulled out a victory in overtime – 2:1. In that game, Andris Jerins scored during regular time, and Kaspars Daugavins scored in the 62nd minute. Both of them also perform at the current World Cup: Daugavins is the captain, and Dzherins was injured during the tournament and dropped out.
The last official meeting of the teams took place at the 2019 World Cup, when the Swiss won 3:1. In addition, at the end of April, the teams held control meetings in Riga and exchanged victories: Switzerland won with a score of 5:3, Latvia took revenge the next day – 5:1.
Six NHL players Nino Niederreiter, Niko Hishir, Kevin Fiala, Denis Malgin, Janis Moser and Jonas Siegenthaler are playing for Switzerland at the 2023 World Cup. There are also such well-known players as Andres Ambul, Leonardo Genoni, Robert Mayer, Enzo Corvi.
Source: GOROD.LV – новости Даугавпилса by gorod.lv.
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