Latvia Pulls Off Upset on House Ice
It did not take lengthy for the primary upset of the event, as Latvia managed to tug off a 2-0 victory over Canada on Friday night on residence ice – however with out followers to witness the historic victory.
The win was Latvia’s first towards Canada on the World Championship. The groups have had varied shut battles internationally over the previous decade, however this was the primary time Latvia was in a position to seal the deal – and in shutout style, nonetheless.
With only one second to go within the opening interval, Miks Indrasis – who drew a penalty on the play prior – scored on a wrist shot with the person benefit to complete off the primary interval, scoring on Latvia’s fourth shot of the sport. Canada hoped to get again with a purpose within the second however as a substitute, Oskars Batna would tip in Ronalds Kenins shot at 28:39 to attain the one purpose of the second interval – a lead that will final till the ultimate buzzer.
Canada would attempt to pull out all of the stops within the third interval, however Columbus Blue Jackets prospect Matiss Kivlenieks was up for the problem. He stopped all 38 photographs despatched his manner for the victory in simply his first World Championship sport for Latvia, a giant end result for the 24-year-old with simply eight video games of NHL expertise with Columbus.
Whereas Canada was with out lots of the nation’s prime hockey stars, Latvia received the sport with none present NHLers. Solely 5 gamers on Latvia has performed within the NHL, with Kaspars Daugavins being probably the most skilled with 91 video games performed from 2009-2013.
Late Aim Leads Russia to Victory over Czechs
Mikhail Grigorenko’s late purpose with simply 19 seconds to go within the sport helped hand Russia a 4-3 win within the tightest battle of the opening day in Latvia.
It did not take lengthy for Russia to place itself on the board first. With Filip Hronek within the field for top sticking, Anton Burdasov kicked issues off with a wrist shot purpose blocker aspect on Simon Hrubec on the facility play to make it 1-0 at 4:16 – simply as the person benefit was coming to an in depth.
The Czechs would reply again on a harmful scoring probability of their very own earlier than the primary interval hit the midway level. Michael Spacek made a rapid transfer round a Russian attacker and slipped it to Jakub Flek. Flek then took what seemed to be a innocent wrist shot, but it surely simply went by way of the arm of goaltender Alexander Samonov for the 1-1 purpose.
The sport continued its back-and-forth nature all the best way to the ultimate buzzer. Vladislav Kamenev took acquired the play began when he stole the puck within the impartial zone and caught Artyom Shvets-Rogovoi alone previous two Czech defenders. Svets-Rogovoi shortly flipped the puck over Simon Hrubec for the 2-1 purpose, however the lead would not final for lengthy. Two minutes later, Jakub Vrana broke in on their lonesome and scored after faking a wrister simply seconds earlier, beating Alexander Samonov for the 2-2 purpose earlier than the buzzer ended the second stanza.
Russia would as soon as once more take the lead again at 45:28, this time with Alexander Barabanov grabbing the puck within the slot after it bounced again after a Czech giveaway. Dominik Kubalik would give the Czechs some hope with three minutes to go when he scored a power-play purpose to tie the sport at three, however Grigorenko’s uncontested wrist shot with 19 seconds to go beat Hrubec for the game-winning purpose.
Italy No Match For Germans Regardless of Early Lead
At one level within the sport, Italy held a 2-1 lead over Germany. Sadly for the boys in blue, pink and inexperienced, Italy struggled to get pucks on web and Germany would in the end take the large 9-4 victory on Friday in Riga.
Each groups traded probabilities early within the first, but it surely wasn’t till 15:56 the place somebody was in a position to break the ice. Tom Kuhnhackl was the primary to trigger harm, getting the puck from Stefano Marchetti after he stole it off a defender and Kuhnhackl was in a position to catch Justin Fazio off guard with a backhander.
However two minutes later, Alex Petan – the brother of Toronto Maple Leafs ahead Nic Petan – scored after Lukas Reichel gave the puck away within the impartial zone to make it 1-1. Italy then scored once more 25 seconds later, this time coming from Luca Frigo on the rebound.
Sadly for the Italians, their lead would not even final a complete minute till Moritz Muller beat Fazio up over the glove on a one-timer, sending the 2 groups into the intermission tied at two objectives.
However that was the one actual aggressive interval of the sport. Italy may solely muster one other six photographs the remainder of the best way, scoring twice however permitting seven. Tobias Rieder scored at 4:23 within the second and Frederik Tiffels added a power-play purpose three minutes later to make it 4-2. Marcel Noebels would rating a pair and Reichel would cut up them up with considered one of his personal to provide Germany 5 unanswered markers. The third interval was a bit quieter, and Italy even had one thing to cheer about. Matias Plachta scored a purpose whereas shorthanded off of a giveaway at 2:52 into the third interval, however a pair of Italian objectives from Daniel Frank and Anthony Bardaro would give Italy one thing to cheer about. Leo Pfoderl would add one other for the Germans to seal the deal, giving them a giant 9-4 win to open motion in Riga.
Robust Opening Interval Sufficient as Slovakia Downs Belarus
It was a decent sport full of penalties, however many of the harm was finished early as Slovakia scored thrice to seal the 5-2 win over Belarus.
The sport was Konstantin Shostak’s first within the Belarusian web, but it surely did not final lengthy after three objectives in 11:02 of play. At 3:53, Kristian Pospisil’s shot beat a screened Shostak with a clear shot, opening the scoring for Slovakia. 5 minutes in a while the person benefit, Peter Cehlarik’s purpose went in in related style, this time on the facility play. Pospisil scored a second after Shostak had some firm in entrance of him, ending off his night time early in favor of former NHLer Danny Taylor.
Taylor had a powerful night time the remainder of the best way, permitting only one purpose earlier than the ultimate buzzer and making a few massive stops within the meantime. The ultimate purpose got here at 45:05 when Marek Hrivik averted going offside to get the move from Robert Lantosi, breaking previous the Belarusian defenders earlier than making a fast deke previous Taylor for the 4-0 purpose.
It was a crushing second for Belarus, who thought they scored within the second interval. Yegor Sharangovich beat Branislav Konrad by way of a display, however the purpose was reviewed and later waved off as a result of Andrei Belevich had his foot within the crease. Belarus acquired a pair of objectives late from Mikhail Stefanovich and Yegor Sharangovich to chop the lead in half, however by then, Slovakia’s lead proved to be an excessive amount of. Cehlarik added an empty-netter and Konrad made a save on a penalty shot to complete the sport off in Slovakia’s favor.
1. Matiss Kivlenieks, G (LAT): Ought to have been extra lopsided than it was. The Blue Jackets prospect placed on one heck of a efficiency with a 38-save shutout.
2. Marcel Noebels, F (GER): Two objectives and an help to earn finest participant honors in a lopsided victory for Germany. He was in every single place within the offensive zone.
3. Mikhail Grigorenko, F (RUS): An help and the game-winning purpose helped seal the deal for Russia in a sport that was removed from simple.
Might 22 Schedule
Denmark vs. Sweden – 5:15 AM ET
Norway vs. Germany – 5:15 AM ET
USA vs. Finland – 9:15 AM ET
Nice Britian vs. Russia – 9:15 AM ET
Czech Republic vs. Switzerland – 1:15 PM ET
Latvia vs. Kazakhstan – 1:15 PM ET