On May 9, the game between Latvia and Slovenia in A Group has finished in favor of the hosts with 5:1 on the scoreboard. The Latvian fans cheered their team off the ice rink, as did the Latvian President Vaira Vike-Freiberga who attended the match and supported her team together with thousands Latvian fans.
Vke 's Freiberga also attended the victory celebration by the Freedom Monument and Latvian fans walked her to the President's Palace afterwords.
Slovenia is now drawn in the relegation round to fight for their right to compete in next year's world championship. Latvia has qualified to play in the next round, where they will play the winner of the Group D match - Canada. Canada won over the United States 2:1 on Tuesday's evening.
Aleksandrs Semjonovs, Martins Cipulis, Aleksandrs Jerofejevs, Leonids Tambijevs and Herberts Vasiljevs scored for Latvia, while Aleksandrs Nizivijs had three assists. However, Mitja Sivic was the only one who replied for Slovenia.
Overall, Latvia finished with 29 scoring opportunities to Slovenia's 18 chances. Sergejs Naumovs saved 17 times compared to Robert Kristan who had 24 saves.
Slovenia had racked up 24 minutes of penalty time compared to only 16 minutes by the Latvian team.
Latvian team's head coach Pyotr Vorobjov was very satisfied with the result, although he kept being very serious. "I'd like to thank my boys for an excellent feedback that they showed during this game. A very convincing victory in a very important game was a great pleasure for all Latvian hockey fans," he said.
"But it's not the right time to relax, and we'll keep fighting for each goal in every upcoming game," Vorobjevs outlined.
On Thursday in Group E Latvia will face Canada, then on May 13 it will play against the United States, and on May 16 Latvia will play their final game in the qualification round against Norway.