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Latvia eager to move ahead, give Canada all they’ve got

Feb 18, 2014, 6:25 PM EDT

Sochi Olympics Ice Hockey Men AP

If you think Latvia will spend the night celebrating their 3-1 upset victory against Switzerland, think again.

Latvia won’t get time to relax as they’ll face Canada on Wednesday and as their players told Olympic News Service, they’re focused and know they’ll give it all they’ve got against the defending gold medalists.

“I won’t shout out that we will beat Canada, but we’ll try,” said goalie Edgars Masalskis. “We’ll do all that we can to give them a tough battle.

“It’s a game, hockey. The game starts at 0-0. Who knows? Maybe we’ll beat them. Of course, we’ll try. We want to battle for medals. In principle, there’s only two games left to win.”

Expectations outside of Latvia for the Latvian team were low headed into the Olympics. Seeing them in the quarterfinals and a win away from having a shot at a medal exceeds most everyone’s expectations. Don’t count on them resting their laurels on beating the Swiss, however.

“It’s tomorrow already,” said defenseman Oskars Bartulis. “We have to forget this game as soon as possible.”

That’s a good way to move ahead. While their chances against Canada may not be great, don’t tell that to the Latvians.

“Everybody has a chance. Chances, chances!” said forward Janis Sprukts. “Canadians also play hockey and we play hockey and, if we play as a team, there will be a chance.”

Anything goes in a single-elimination tournament.

  1. sumkat - Feb 18, 2014 at 6:47 PM

    The one great thing left in Olympic hockey since the NHL started participating (not that it would be better if they didn’t, because the KHL still would), is the fact that there is no “we’ll get em tomorrow” attitude possible, because there generally is no tomorrow. You may be able to lose a game early and still be alive, but if you don’t win other 2, you are still done. After the first round 1st round it’s back to win or go home

  2. nflfan4now - Feb 18, 2014 at 7:14 PM

    Sure sounds like a Ted Nolan coached team!

  3. opattytheirishrover - Feb 18, 2014 at 7:25 PM

    This friends, is a team of deep and intellectual thinkers. I wouldn’t be surprised if we saw the next few Nobel peace prize winners come from this region.

    “It’s a game, hockey”, “they play hockey, we play hockey”.

    Think about this friends…that’s deep.

    • koredan - Feb 18, 2014 at 7:54 PM

      I look forward to your thoughts as conveyed in Latvian. I’m sure they’ll be both poetic and intellectual.

  4. opattytheirishrover - Feb 18, 2014 at 8:01 PM

    Ah yes, the inevitable “victim of the circumstances”…(ie-due to translation). I’m sorry my friend. I did not mean to offend you and your family/friends from Latvia , merely having a good ribbing at the expense of “lost in translation”.

    For at the end of the day, what place does an Irishman have to call others out? None!

    Once again I apologize if I offended you…and to give you a teaser…my Latvian quotes look very similar to a book written about Albert Einstein, uncanny.

    Peace be with you!

    • blomfeld - Feb 18, 2014 at 11:24 PM

      *** somewhere on the outskirts of town ***

      Blomfeld: halt ! … just where do you boys think you’re heading ?

      O’Patty: ‘top o’ the marnin’ to ya’ … we was just head’n into town to ‘top up’ our drinks :)

      Blomfeld: well word is that you boys have been talk’n crap about the LA Kings ?

      O’Patty: ‘like hen’s teeth’ we have ! … look, we don’t want any trouble with you fellas …

      Sportsfan69: watch it Blom, they’re all armed !

      O’Patty: now look, would ya do us a favor and let us pass in peace here ?

      Blomfeld: no, it stops right here and now ! .. KAPOW !! .. KABOOM !! .. KAZAAM !!

  5. leafsilluminati - Feb 18, 2014 at 11:30 PM

    Leafs > Kings

    It’s all there black and white, clear as crystal! We stole Bernier! You lose! Good day sir!

    • blomfeld - Feb 19, 2014 at 12:19 AM

      friend, I can’t offer a ‘fun’ retort to that … we Kings miss Bernier dearly and truth be known, you people now have a ‘serious’ shot of going the distance … there’s a part of me which hopes you do, but I’m not saying anything man ! :)

  6. c9castine - Feb 19, 2014 at 12:02 AM

    good for them. switzerland isn’t a heavy weight but they had a solid team with really good goaltending.

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