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Swedes praise Latvia for tough battle

Feb 15, 2014, 8:06 PM EDT

Sochi Olympics Ice Hockey Men AP

Sweden came away with a 5-3 win against Latvia, but it wasn’t the kind of confidence-building blowout some were expecting to happen.

Latvia held an early 2-1 lead before Sweden came back to control the game, but it wasn’t without trepidation. As Slava Malamud at IIHF.com shares, the Swedes gave full marks to the Latvians for how they played.

“We know Latvia is a good team and if you make mistakes, they can come fast at you,” said Loui Eriksson. “It’s been three games in four days, so we will take all the positives we can from the three wins and bring them to the quarterfinal.”

Latvian forward Zemgus Girgensons said they wanted to do their part to frustrate the Swedes. Keeping the score close and not relenting did just that. A moral victory will have to do for now.

Sweden finished the opening round undefeated and are set up to possibly be the top seed for the playoff round. As for Latvia, they didn’t win a game during round-robin play and are set up to face the No. 6 seed in the next round.

  1. lowenni - Feb 15, 2014 at 8:59 PM

    I watched this game and the Latvians really kept up with the Swedes. Although the skill disparity was very evident, they played a tough hard working style that kept them in the game. Don’t forget the Swedes scored 4 of their 5 goals on the power play, if the Latvians had been a bit more disciplined, they could’ve stolen a win. Good to see this country on the up.

  2. badgerhockey77 - Feb 16, 2014 at 6:18 AM

    Watched the whole game. Karlsson is even MORE of a freak on the big ice. Wow!!!

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