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Latvian team loses the scandalous game against Canada

  • 2006-05-13
  • By TBT staff
Canada scored a staggering nine power-play goals en route to an 11-0 win at Riga Arena on May 11 in one of the most extraordinary games in international hockey history. In a game that lasted almost three hours, the Latvian national hockey team fell behind Canadian team 0:4 already in the first period, and eventually lost 0:11.

The game's second interruption occurred in the third period at 4:50 on the clock. The game, refereed by American Rick Looker, was dominated by a total of 23 minor penalties, 16 of which were incurred by the Latvians. The teams played 5-on-5 for about 20 minutes over the course of the game's 60 minutes.

After the referee of the game called another penalty against the Latvian team, fans showed their disappointment by littering the ice with coins and different other things, including a shoe. Referee Rick Looker decided to interrupt the game and clean up the ice. The game had to be interrupted also during the third period for the same reason.

During the interruption, Latvian team player Janis Sprukts appealed to the crowd to remain calm and cease tossing debris onto the ice, so that the game can continue.

In the third period, the last 11th score was notched by Canada's Scott Hartnell, Kyle Calder scored the ninth and tenth goals.
In the second period, Brendan Shenahan (power play) made it 5:0 in the 6th minute. The rest of the period was scoreless.

The Latvians fell behind 0:1 early in the first period on an easy power play shot by Jason Williams after Latvia's Herberts Vasiljevs had been penalized for hooking.

The second goal was scored by Sidney Crosby (8:49) on a five-on-three advantage for Canada.
Brad Boyes connected on yet another power play goal at 14:40 after Arvids Rekis was whistled off for tripping.
Patrice Bergeron found the net for the fourth score -- also on a power play (17:43).

"It's not the right thing to say that the referee was the main person," said Latvian Head Coach Pyotr Vorobjev. "Our players were not ready to play. I could not find the right words to pick the players up. The Canadian players know how to play with such a referee - we don't," he added.

Fans began littering the ice with debris and hooting the officials in protest after yet another penalty - against Juris Stals for interference. The game was discontinued at 18:00 - and was continued after intermission with plus time. This is the second qualification round game today at the 2006 IIHF World Championship in Riga.

Goaltending for Latvia was Sergejs Naumovs - before being replaced by Martins Raitums in the 15th minute. In the net for Canada - Marc Denis.

Shots on goal were 40 for Canada - 27 for Latvia.
A man, aged 40, was detained for throwing a shoe on the ice, and one Latvian and one Finnish citizen were detained for littering the ice with coins.
State Police spokeswoman Ieva Zvidre told Baltic News Service that the number of offenders on Thursday [May 11] was considerably larger than in other days. As many as 58 people were fined and 44 protocols were drawn up for using alcohol on the streets.

"Of course, there was noise in the city, but it goes along with hockey," she said, adding that several people were so drunk that had to be taken to sobering houses.
Several incidents with foreign hockey fans were also registered on Thursday. A concflict arouse between two Norwegian fans and a security officer in a night culb, as the men did not want to pay their bill.

One German citizen had been robbed of his mobile phone, passport and other documents in his apartment in the center of Riga. He said that the crime had been committed by a hockey fan dressed in Latvian colors.
Zvidre told Baltic News Service that the police sent reinforcements to the Looker's hotel, the American referee who refereed Latvian-Canadian game, to avoid possible disorders.