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Latvia hockey team goes to Sochi Olympics

BC, Riga, 11.02.2013.Print version

The Latvian national hockey team lost the game (2:3, OT) but won the battle yesterday – a berth in the 2014 Sochi Olympics, thanks to a nerve-racking 2:2 tie with France in regulation time, informs LETA.


France needed a victory by two goals for the ticket to Sochi, and the team evidently took the task seriously, jumping to an early 2:0 lead.


Latvia finally scored in the second period in the person of Lauris Darzins, and then 12 seconds into the third, Martins Karsums found the net.


Sochi will be the fourth Winter Games for Team Latvia.


In the stands today were the president, prime minister and parliament speaker.


Two days earlier, team Latvia moved a step closer to the next Winter Olympics in thrilling fashion last night, escaping with a 3:2 victory over Kazakhstan as game officials rightfully disallowed a score in the final 30 seconds.


Juris Stals, Mikelis Redlihs and Lauris Darzins scored the goals for Latvia, while Roman Starchenko and Dimitri Upper scored the goals for Kazakhstan.


The Latvian team started out the match with two quick goals in the first several minutes of the first period, as the period ended 2:0 in favor of the home team.


The Kazakhs came out shooting in the second period, and were able to battle back to end the period with a 2:2 draw.


The third period once again saw Latvia take the initiative, which paid off after a mistake by Kazakh defenseman Kevin Dallman, who gave the puck away to Janis Sprukts who assisted a goal to Lauris Darzins.


In the game's final minute, the Kazakhs took out goalkeeper and were able to score a goal with about 20 seconds left, but the goal was disallowed because as it was deliberately scored by a skate.

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