Wed, Apr 29, 2009 - Page 19 News List

Latvia clinch 3-2 win over Sweden

AFP , ZURICH, SWITZERLAND

Latvia upset Sweden in their world ice hockey championship Group C showdown at Berne on Monday, clinching a tight 3-2 win in a penalty shootout.

The Swedes started confidently but their fans had to wait for the opening goal until the 16th minute, when Linus Omark swept in a rebound for his sixth goal and the lead in the event’s scorers contest.

But Latvia’s rear guard Krisjanis Redlihs leveled midway into the second on powerplay, while forward Lauris Darzins put the Latvians in front 45seconds before the second break.

The Swedes, however, leveled just 44 seconds into the third thanks to a slap shot by blueliner Magnus Johansson.

After a goalless overtime Latvia proved a little bit more accurate in a penalty shootout, with their striker Aleksandrs Nizivijs sending the winning shot into the net.

In the other Group C match, the US experienced few problems against Austria recording a 6-1 win that put them top of their table.

The Americans clinched the initiative from the starting face-off and created a handful of chances but managed to score only once at 15:11, when Dustin Brown beat Austria’s goalie Jurgen Penker with an unopposed backhand shot.

In the second the Americans continued peppering Penker with shots and in the 32nd minute Drew Stafford made it 2-0 sweeping the puck into an unguarded net.

Markus Peintner reduced the arrears, sending the puck into the unguarded net after an error by US keeper Robert Esche.

But in the third period, Patrick O’Sullivan, Jason Blake, Lee Stempniak and Matt Niskanen all scored for the US, dashing Austria’s hopes of pulling off a shock.

Meanwhile, Finland battled back from a goal down against Denmark in their Group D showdown at Zurich-Kloten arena for a 5-1 win, the Finns’ eighth win over the Danes in as many meetings.

Danish forward Julian Jakobsen opened the score halfway into the first period but Antti Mietinen leveled with 2:20 left in the first.

Tuomas Pihlman put Finland into the lead, while Mietinen netted his second of the match to make it 3-1 before the second interval. Forward Niko Kapanen scored twice in the third period both times on powerplays.

Earlier, the Czech Republic outscored Norway 5-2 to record their 12th win over the Scandinavians in their 14th world championships’ meeting.

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