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International Internet Magazine. Baltic States news & analytics Sunday, 22.04.2018, 00:08

I am proud of my players - coach Hartley

BC, Riga, 17.05.2017.Print version

After yesterday's heartbreaking loss in an overtime shoot-out to Germany at the Ice Hockey World Championships, where Latvia missed advancing to the tournament's quarterfinals by a single point, the head coach of the Latvian national men's ice hockey team Bob Hartley said that he did not wish to speak yet about his future with the national team.

The coach said he was very down after the game, but praised his players for their excellent performance during the tournament.

''We went down 0:2, but battled back to take the lead. We did not win in the end, but this was our second game in two days,'' the coach told members of the press. ''My players deserve respect. I am sorry we did not pull out the win.''

The former NHL coach of the year said that this was one of the toughest losses he has had in his coaching career. ''I will be honest, I have not participated in such dramas very often,'' he said.

The coach also did not wish to comment about his future with the national team. ''I do not know what will happen in the future. We must speak about the players now - they deserve this. I just coached them. I cannot say anything bad about any of my players. All of them have worked very hard from day one. They have progressed considerably, but unfortunately we will be returning to Riga tomorrow, not travelling to Paris for the quarterfinals,'' the coach said.

''We have taken the first steps to create a new hockey culture in Latvia. Latvia is a country will amazing people and amazing fans. The federation has done excellent work, and there are many new ideas for development, as well as the development of young players. We are putting together something very good, and we must continue to work. We showed the hockey elite during this tournament that we are catching up to them,'' he added.

As reported, in the final and decisive group match at this year's Ice Hockey World Championships last night, the Latvian national men's ice hockey team lost to Germany 3:4 in an overtime shoot-out and failed to advance to the tournament's quarterfinals.

The winner of the match needed a win to clinch the final quarterfinal spot from Group A.

Germany will now face Canada in the quarterfinals on Thursday.

Latvia finished in fifth place in the Group A standings with ten points from seven matches.

Latvia has not advanced to the quarterfinals at the Ice Hockey World Championships since 2009.

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