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Latvia expels Sweden!  Also Canada and the United States in the semi-finals

Latvia expels Sweden! Also Canada and the United States in the semi-finals

Mix Endrasis gleefully shouted his goal to make it 2-1 up.Photo:

One of the two World Cup host nations made it to the semi-finals – surprisingly not Finland. While the defending champions and Olympic champions were eliminated, Latvia accomplished a feat they never thought possible.

05/25/2023, 21:4305/25/2023, 23:00

Sweden 1-3 Latvia

The Latvian national ice hockey team achieved the greatest success in its history at the 2023 World Cup. For the first time ever at a major tournament, the selection is in the semi-finals. So far, three seventh-place finishes at the World Championships in 1997, 2004 and 2009 have been the highest feelings. The maker of the unexpected success is coach Harig Witulench, an old acquaintance in Switzerland.

A few hours after Switzerland moderately eliminated Germany (1: 3), the stadium in Riga was like a madhouse. The favorite Swedes dominated the match and in the end almost tripled their shots on goal (41:15). But only once, to achieve 1-1, “Trekronor” defeated the Latvian goalkeeper Arturs Silovs.

Goalie Arturs Silovs of Latvia, center, fights for the puck with Fabian Zetterlund of Sweden during the quarterfinal match between Latvia and Sweden at the Ice Hockey World Championships in Riga, Latvia ...

There was (almost) no way to beat goalkeeper Silov.Photo: Cornerstone

The 22-year-old has been between positions in five NHL games for the Vancouver Canucks this season. Otherwise he would have been assigned to the AHL’s farm team. The outstanding player on the field was Rihards Bukarts. The forward, who works with Klagenfurt, had an assist on all three of his side’s goals.

In the semi-finals, which will both take place in Tampere, Finland, on Saturday, Latvia will now face Canada (1:20 p.m.). The other semi-final is called USA-Germany (5.20pm).

Sweden 1-3 Latvia (0-1, 1-0, 0-2)
Riga. – 9,200 spectators. – SR Kaukokari / MacFarlane (FIN / USA), Davis / Mackey (USA / Canada).
Portals: 13 Lumiles (Reyhard Bukarts, Cebulskis) 0-1. 30 Lillgren (Raymond, Lindholm) 1-1. 46. ​​Indrasis (Rihards Bukarts, Jaks) 1-2. 54. Jaks (Indrasis, Rihards Bukarts / Exclusion Liljegren) 1:3.
punish: 2 times 2 minutes against Sweden, 4 times 2 plus 5 minutes (Dzierkals) plus playing time (Dzierkals) against Latvia.

Canada 4-1 Finland

The Canadians, who were not very convincing in the preliminary round, again improved more than they calculated. They beat Finland 4-1 in Tampere, ending the home team’s dreams of a successful title defense. In the last three World Cups, the two teams have faced each other in the final – only Canada won in 2021.

Canada 4-1 Finland (1-0, 1-0, 2-1)
Tampere – 11’529 spectators. – SR Holm / Hribik (SWE / CZE), Briganti / Hynek (USA / CZE).
Portals: 8. Quinn (Cruz) 1-0. 31. Bliss (Neighbours, Barron) 2-0. 43 Carconi (Wegar, Middleton) 3-0. 57. Hartikainen (Rantanen, Lehtonen) 3: 1 (no GK). 58. Toffoli 4: 1 (inside the empty goal).
punish: 4 times 2 minutes against Canada, 1 time 2 minutes against Finland.

USA – Czech Republic 3: 0

The United States continues to impress. The USA, who were the only team undefeated in the preliminary round, beat the Czech Republic, coached by Kari Jalonen, in the quarter-finals in Tampere 3-0 after scoring a goal in each period.

Matt Coronato (13th), Nick Berbix (29th) and Kater Gauthier (50th) scored in front of 7,411 spectators. The shot ratio was 34:15 in favor of the United States, which is evidence of superiority. The Americans, who kept their third clean sheet in their last four matches, avenged their 8-4 defeat in the third place match a year earlier.

USA 3-0 Czech Republic (1-0, 1-0, 1-0)
Tampere – 7411 spectators. – SR Frandsen/Sewell (DEN/GBR), Wyonzek/Yletyinen (CAN/SWE).
Portals: 13 Coronato (Hotson, Macky) 1-0. 29 Berbix (Grimaldi) 2-0. 50 Gauthier (Tainan) 3-0.
punish: 2 times 2 minutes against the United States, 1 time 2 minutes against the Czech Republic. (ram/sda)

Oh yeah, there was something else…

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