Latvia advances to ice hockey quarter finals

  • 2009-05-05
  • TBT Staff

The IIHF has held the high-profile tournament since 1920

RIGA - Latvia's spectacular performance in the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) World Championships has earned the team a place in the quarter finals.

In the two rounds of pools, Latvia lost only two games -- to Russia and the United States.

Notably, the Latvian team was able to defeat Sweden for the first time in history in an exciting shoot-out following a scoreless overtime period. Latvia also defeated the Swiss team, which is hosting the event, in an overtime shoot out.

Latvia also defeated the Austrian and French teams to win the finals slot. 

Ice hockey is by far the most popular sport in the country, and Latvian fans are world renown as some of the most passionate supporters of the game.

The strong results have prompted celebrations in the streets throughout the Latvian capital of Riga.

"Now I can die happy," one die-hard hockey fan told The Baltic Times after the victory over Sweden.

Latvia will face Canada in the quarter finals match. The game will take place on May 7 at 16:15 Swiss time.