“It was a very fast game, perhaps unexpected in a certain sense. But the Slovenians have a good team. It wasn’t easy, I’m glad we won,” Latvian defenseman Karlis Čukste told the International Ice Hockey Federation website.
“We stuck to our game plan and we knew that the slightest mistake or loss could end in a goal that could decide,” said the defender of extra-league Třinec.
The home team started actively, but they did not manage to overcome goalkeeper Krošelj for a long time. The Slovenians made only two dangerous moves in the first half, but Pance ended the break with a weak backhand shot, and Verlič’s attempt was blocked by goalkeeper Šilovs. Thanks to this, the Latvians were able to take the lead in the 12th minute, when Džerinš set up the goal for Rihards Bukarts with a beautiful pass.
In the second period, the Slovenians did not take advantage of two numerical advantages that overlapped by two seconds. They managed to equalize in the 28th minute, when two Latvian players collided on the offensive blue line, and Kuralt ended the subsequent two-on-one renumbering in an exemplary manner.
But Latvia got back into the lead with a numerical advantage. Captain Daugavinš surprised the former Mladá Boleslav goalkeeper with a shot over the catcher. Subsequently, Krošelj was helped by the upper bar after Jaks’ shot. The home team got a third goal when Roberts Bukarts scored immediately after the goal. However, the Slovenians managed to dramatize the game in the second period, Verlič reduced the score with a quick run 13 seconds before going to the cabins.
In the 42nd minute, Krošelje beat Balinskis, another compatriot from the Czech extra league in the Latvian team, but the referees, after checking the video, disallowed his goal due to illegal contact between Keninš and the Slovenian goalkeeper. In the end, the home team didn’t have to regret it, they kept the narrow win until the end of the game.
“In the last third, we increased our activity, we tried to attack, but we didn’t manage to equalize. We have to go more in front of the goal, screen. The opponent scored two goals like that,” Slovenian goalkeeper Kašper Krošelj told Czech Television. “We still have two games against opponents we know. We will fight and try to win,” added the 36-year-old goalkeeper. The Slovenians still have matches against Slovakia and Kazakhstan.
|HIT EXTRA TO THE HOCKEY WORLD CUP|
|The Sport.cz editorial team will offer fans regular coverage of the Czech team’s matches during the World Hockey Championship. In the studio, a selected expert from among hockey personalities and the editor of Sport.cz will discuss the given match with the moderator. Studio Příklep extra will always start fifty minutes before the initial throw-in.|
|Hockey World Championship:|
|Group B (Riga):|
|Latvia – Slovenia 3:2 (1:0, 2:2, 0:0)|
|Goals and assists: 12. Rihards Bukarts (Džerinš, Indrašis), 32. Daugavinš (Balinskis), 38. Roberts Bukarts (Džerinš) – 28. Kuralt (Tičar, Magovac), 40. Verlič (Urbas). Referees: Schrader (German), Štolc – Cattaneo (both Swiss), Hynek (Czech Republic). Exclusion: 3:4. Usage: 1:0. Viewers: 9180.|
|Latvian: Shilovs – Balinskis, Zile, Mamčić, Jaks, Chukste, Freiberg, Cibulskis – Daugavinš, Abol, Balcers – Dzierkals, Batna, Roberts Bukarts – Keninš, Lochmelis, Anderson – Indrašis, Jerinš, Rihards Bukarts – Krastenberg. Coach: Vitolinš.|
|Slovenian: Krošelj – Gregorc, Pavlin, Magovac, Crnovič, Podlipnik, Mašič, Štebih – Urbas, Jeglič, Verlič – Sabolič, Tičar, Kuralt – Ograjenšek, Simšič, Drozg – Pance, Tomaževič, Maver – Čimžar. Trainer: M. Kopitar.|
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