International Ice Hockey Federation

Tough loss for Latvians

Tough loss for Latvians

Finland wins first game 7-0

Published 18.04.2013 18:18 GMT+4 | Author Alexander Yakobson
Tough loss for Latvians
SOCHI, RUSSIA - APRIL 18: Finland's Otto Rauhala #21 with a scoring chance against Latvia's Maksims Resetnikovs #30 while Roberts Smits #23 looks on during preliminary round action at the 2013 IIHF Ice Hockey U18 World Championship. (Photo by Francois Laplante/HHOF-IIHF Images)
Team Finland began the 2013 IIHF Ice Hockey U18 World Championship in Sochi with a comfortable 7-0 shutout win over Latvia.

On paper, the Finnish team was the undisputed favourite. Any result other than a win in regular time would have been a sensational upset. The main intrigue whether Vyacheslav Nazarov’s could make a fight with the more skillful opponent.

With aggressive start of the match, the Latvians had a serious advantage of two players for nearly two minutes. Despite this, the Finnish squad calmly controlled the course of the game, changing on the fly and easily coping with the limited rushes from their opponent.

Having missed the early opportunity, Latvia soon paid  for it.  In quick attacks Julius Honka, Otto Rauhala, Artturi Lehkonen and Mattias Pulli did their job and chipped in a goal each in the frame.

Artturi Lehkonen, defended the colors of Suomi on World Juniors U-20 at the beginning of the year in Ufa, finished with three points – one goal and two assists. Kasperi Kapanen and Aleksi Mustonen, each added goals in the second and third period to finish off the Latvians and move to a 1W-0L record. Goaltender Juuse Saros finished the game with a 21-save shutout effort.

Latvia will face the Czech Republic on Friday, while Finland will have a big game against the host Russians on Saturday night. 


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