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Karlis Skrastins to be captain of Latvian ice hockey team at World Championships

BC, Riga/Bern, 24.04.2009.Print version

The captain of the Latvian national men's ice hockey team during Ice Hockey World Championships in Switzerland in 2009 will be NHL defender Karlis Skrastins (Florida ''Panthers''), the press secretary of the Latvian Ice Hockey Federation (LHF) Vita Lebedeva informed LETA today.


Forward Herberts Vasiljevs and defender Rodrigo Lavins will be Skrastins' assistants.


Yesterday, the Latvian squad was able to fit in its first practice at the ''PostFinance'' arena in Bern, where Latvia will play its group games. The weather in Switzerland yesterday was pleasurable, however, the quality of the arena's ice, the locker rooms and several other things were not up to standard, however, these will hopefully be taken care of by today.


Latvia announced the 23 players that will play in the first group stage. Forward Aleksejs Sirokovs was left off this list, however, he will remain and practice with the team, and might be registered to play in the second group stage.


As reported, today, the 73rd Ice Hockey World Championships will kick off in the Swiss cities of Bern and Zurich.


Latvia's Group C opponents will be Sweden, the United States and Austria. Sweden finished in fourth place at the World Championships last year, the United States finished in sixth, whilst Austria was promoted from Division 1.


Latvia will play its first Group C game on Saturday (April 25) against the United States in Bern. Latvia will play its second game of the tournament against Sweden on April 27, and will play its final Group C game against Austria two days later.


The roster of the Latvian men's ice hockey team participating in the tournament is as follows: goalies – Edgars Masalskis (''Die Fuchse'' Germany), Sergejs Naumovs (Riga ''Dinamo''), Dmitrijs Zabotinskis (''Liepajas metalurgs'').


Defenders: Aleksandrs Jerofejevs (''Neftekhimik'' Russia), Georgijs Pujacs (Riga ''Dinamo''), Olegs Sorokins (Riga ''Dinamo''), Guntis Galvins (Riga ''Dinamo''), Krisjanis Redlihs (Riga ''Dinamo''), Rodrigo Lavins (Riga ''Dinamo''), Kristaps Sotnieks (Riga ''Dinamo''), Karlis Skrastins (Florida ''Panthers'' NHL), Oskars Bartulis (Philadelphia ''Phantoms'' AHL).


Forwards: Lauris Darzins (Riga ''Dinamo''), Mikelis Redlihs (Riga ''Dinamo''), Herberts Vasiljevs (''Pinguine'' Germany), Aigars Cipruss (Riga ''Dinamo''), Aleksandrs Nizivijs (Riga ''Dinamo''), Martins Karsums (Tampa Bay ''Lightning'' NHL), Janis Sprukts (Rochester ''Americans'' AHL), Girts Ankipans (Riga ''Dinamo''), Guntis Dzerins (''MHC'' Slovakia), Martins Cipulis (Riga ''Dinamo''), Armands Berzins (Riga ''Dinamo''), Roberts Jekimovs (''Brynas IF'' Sweden).

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