Latvia Beats Slovakia 6:1, Jansons and Cerins Score Twice – 05.12.2018

Latvians win the first play-off game of this Championship and are going to meet Sweden in the quarterfinals. Edzus Cerins and Klavs Jansons both scored twice for Latvia. For the 18-year-old Jansons, who was selected as Latvia’s MVP, these are the first points at his first career Men’s World Championships.

The last time Slovakia and Latvia faced each other was in Riga two years ago in the 9th place game and Slovaks won 6:5 in overtime by Dudovic’s game-winning goal. Both today’s goalkeepers Salcevics and Mazák were in the starting line-up then. Lukáš Mráz opened the score today already at 2:22 with a great shot to the top right corner of Latvia’s net. But the Latvians Cerins and Jansons each scored once before the first intermission and turned the score to 2-1 for Latvia. As expected, the game was very tight. Both teams didn’t want to make a mistake and played very carefully. The Latvians controlled the ball for most of the time, but Slovakia defended well and did not let their opponents create too many scoring chances.

The second period was similar to the first one. The Baltic team didn’t hurry and was waiting for Slovak mistakes while controlling the ball. But Slovakia stayed in its very strong defensive formation and was relying on counter-attacks. And so the fans saw a goalless middle period, somethign not very common in floorball.

The pace of the game was much faster in the last twenty minutes. At 44:03, the Latvians added their third goal. Edzus Cerins’ shot was deflected by a Slovak player and the ball ended in the net. In the 49th minute, the Slovaks were awarded a penalty shot and could cut Latvia’s lead. But the tournament’s scoring leader Michal Dudovič missed it. Then the Slovaks began pushing their opponents, but they were not able to find the way into the net. Late in the match, Latvia added two empty-netters and won the match 6-1. Artis Raitums, the center of Latvia’s elite line, recorded two assists in the match. He already played against Slovakia at the WFC in Zurich in 2012, when he scored two goals.