With about three minutes to go in the hockey game, Latvia's Herberts Vasiljevs skated out one-on-one against the American goalkeeper to score goal number six in the thrilling Group B game in Minsk yesterday, May 15, at the IIHF Championship, reports LETA.
The U.S. team answered with a goal with about 1:30 to go, but Latvia thwarted a further attack to hang on for dear life until the final buzzer sounded.
Gints Meija scored the opening goal of the game six minutes before the end of the first period, but a minute later Craig Smith tied the game for the United States. However, Mikelis Redlihs scored with just several seconds remaining in the period to give Latvia a 2:1 lead entering the second period.
Latvia took a 3:1 lead with an Aleksandrs Nizivijs power-play goal in the second-period, but the U.S. was able to answer with two goals to end the period 3:3.
With some beautiful individual play, Kaspars Daugavins was able to get an amazing shot by U.S. goaltender Tim Thomas, but the U.S. answered back to once again tie the game at 4:4.
Latvia did not give up, and was awarded with a hard-fought goal scored by a falling Zemgus Girgensons to give Latvia a 5:4 lead with five minutes remaining.
The 6:5 (2:1, 1:2, 3:2) win moves Latvia up to second place in Group B, where it appears to be one step away from a berth in the quarterfinals.
Latvia will play its next group game on Saturday against Russia. Expect the gloves to come off.