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Latvia's winning streak comes to an end

Latvia's three-game winning streak at the IIHF World Championships in Germany was ended May 11 by Sweden, but despite the loss the national team should remain upbeat about its chances of qualification for the latter stages of the tournament.

Sweden scored in the first period just after the 9 minute mark via Gabriel Landeskog, but Latvia were by no means overrun by their much-fancied opponents.

The second period saw Latvia coping well though towards the end of the period Sweden ominously built pressure. Nevertheless, Latvia weathered the storm and the period ended without further addition to the score.

Into the third period Latvia had a great chance to even things up by winning a two-man powerplay but were unable to capitalize on their advantage. Restored to full strength the Swedes became increasingly dangerous with only Elvis Merzlikins' continued fine form keeping them out as he was peppered with speculative shots.

Then another power play was also spurned, though a couple of fair shots were put towards the Swedish goal. But with just a couple of minutes remaining, the busy Elias Lindholm finally put a second goal into Latvia's net. 

The Swedes then closed the game out. Despite the loss, the fact that Latvia was far from outclassed and can feel they should have got more from the game tells a lot about how far the team has come in a short time under coach Bob Hartley.



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