Latvia Beats Germany to Earn 5th Spot – 09.12.2018

Germany faced Latvia in the first match of the day hosted by the O2 Arena. The Latvians went into the game with a clear effort to pay Germany back for the surprising group-stage loss, and they succeeded. In this tough battle, in which Latvia was ahead from the beginning, Germany wasn’t able to come back from behind and tie the score. Latvia thus earned the 5th place at the tournament, while Germany finished in the 6th position.

The score was opened in the seventh minute in Latvia’s power play. Jansons sent a cross-pass to Rolands Kovalevskis, who made it 1-0. Six minutes later, Toms Akmenlauks utilized a turnover with an unbelievable shot and doubled the Latvian lead. Both teams created a few more scoring chances in the remainder of the opening period, but none of them ended in a goal.

Rolands Kovalevskis needed just 29 seconds of the second period to score his second of the game and after only three minutes Gribusts showed his skilful hands and Atis Blinds turned his pass into another goal for the Latvians. Only then did the Germans get a word in. Thanks to their speed they forced a power-play. And although they failed to convert it, they scored just five seconds after its end. It was Erik Schuschwary who had some space in the crease and put Germany on board. And if we talk about skill and speed, we have to mention the second German goal as well. Julian Nihlen took the ball, ran over a half of the rink and scored a goal that brought the Germans within two goals of Latvia.

The third period was full of unforced errors that remained unpunished. The one and the only Latvian goal in this part was scored two and a half minutes before the end. The Germans pulled their goalie and Toms Akmenlauks found the empty net with his second goal of the game. After 44 seconds, the Germans scored their third goal, but that was it for the match and the final score remained at 5-3 for Latvia.