Archive for OG – Latvia

Czech Republic 3 – Latvia 2 : Match Report

Boston Bruins forward DAVID KREJCI (46) scores 5:10 into overtime to lift the Czech Republic past a plucky Latvia 3-2 in the qualification round at the 2010 Winter Olympics. The Czechs move on to face Finland in the quarterfinals at the 2010 Vancouver Games. (Chris O'Meara/AP photo)

Boston Bruins forward DAVID KREJCI (46) scores 5:10 into overtime to lift the Czech Republic past a plucky Latvia 3-2 in the qualification round at the 2010 Winter Olympics. The Czechs move on to face Finland in the quarterfinals at the 2010 Vancouver Games. (Chris O'Meara/AP photo)

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Two goals eleven minutes and six seconds into the contest seemed to send some sort of signal the CZECH REPUBLIC were in for a training game against LATVIA in the qualification round at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver.

First, with the Czechs on the power play, TOMAS ROLINEK of Russian club Metallurg Magnitogorsk backhanded the rebound from Ottawa Senators defenseman FILIP KUBA’s point shot behind Latvia goaltender EDGARS MASALSKIS of Dynamo Riga just before the six minute mark.

Then, TOMAS FLEISCHMANN of the Washington Capitals wristed a shot from the slot past Masalskis after a fine setup from Boston Bruins forward DAVID KREJCI, who had taken the puck after fine board work from teammate ROMAN CERVENKA of Slavia Prague behind the net.

But Masalskis, who would finish the game with 48 saves, immediately thereafter slammed the door on the Czech Republic for the remainder of regulation play in what was easily the 29-year-old veteran Latvian international’s best effort at the 2010 Vancouver Games.

Meanwhile, the scrappy but heavily outshot Latvians continued to skate and play for a break.

Such opportunity arrived with eight minutes left in the match when a centered puck from Lativa’s ALEKSANDRS NIZIVIJS skipped to MARTINS CIPULIS in the slot. The 29-year-old Dynamo Riga forward quickly whacked the disc past Czech goaltender TOMAS VOKOUN of the Florida Panthers to cut the Latvian deficit in half.

Suitably energized and the beneficiaries of a bit of good fortune, Latvia pulled level tunate bounce with less than four minutes remaining in regulation. The well-traveled ARMANDS BERZINS, a Minnesota Wild draft pick, saw his one-timer from the slot miss the net but bounce off the boards straight to Dynamo Riga’s MIKELIS REDLIHS at the side of the net. The 25-year-old forward was able to bundle the biscuit into the back of the net and lift Latvia to a remarkable 2-2 draw.

And, thus, extra time was required.

A little more than halfway through the overtime session, the Czech Republic booked their passage into the quarterfinal round. Krejci collected a drop pass from Fleischmann in the offensive zone and, after faking the slapshot, cut to his right to shoot between Masalskis’ legs for the game-winning-goal.

The Czechs could breathe a collective sigh of relief. 

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CZECH REPUBLIC 3 – LATVIA 2 — (overtime)

Shots-on-goal :  Czech Republic 50 – Latvia 26

CZE goals :  Rolinek, Fleischmann

LAT goals :  Cipulis, M. Redlihs

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Two Kontinental Hockey Leaguers converge — Lativa’s GINTS MEIJA (87) of Dynamo Riga mixes with the Czech Republic’s TOMAS ROLINEK of Russian club Metallurg Magnitogorsk. (Harry How/Getty Images)

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Slovakia 6 – Latvia 0 : Match Report

Slovakia's MARIAN HOSSA (81) receives the puck past the reach of Latvia defenseman ARVIDS REKIS (3) of German club EHC Wolfsburg. The Chicago Black Hawks star will soon deposit the pass from Josef Stumpel into the Latvian cage for his second goal in as many matches at the Vancouver Games. (Matthew Manor/HHOF-IIHF Images)

Slovakia's MARIAN HOSSA (81) receives the puck past the reach of Latvia defenseman ARVIDS REKIS (3) of German club EHC Wolfsburg. The Chicago Black Hawks star will soon deposit the pass from Josef Stumpel into the Latvian cage for his second goal in as many matches at the Vancouver Games. (Matthew Manor/HHOF-IIHF Images)

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SLOVAKIA got goals from six different players as undermanned LATVIA were clearly outclassed in a 6-0 shutout loss in the final Group B match for both teams at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver.

Edmonton Oilers defenseman LUBOMIR VISONVSKY stated Slovakia’s intentions early with a one-time blast from the point on the power play following a JOSEF STUMPEL pass just 2:44 into the contest.

Torpedo Yaroslavl’s former NHL veteran RICHARD ZEDNIK completed a nice Slovak rush up ice with a rising slapshot through traffic which beat Latvia goaltender EDGARS MASALSKIS of Dynamo Riga for a two-goal lead halfway through the first period.

Under three minutes to play in the opening twenty, another player with piles of NHL experience, the 37-year-old Stumpel of Kazakhstan club Barys Astana, extended Slovakia’s advantage to 3-0 with a one-timer from the right face-off circle via a pass from 37-year-old ZIGMUND PALFFY of HK 36 Skalica.

The fourth Slovak goal in the second period was a clinical demonstration of how to move the puck down the ice on the power play. A long pass from Chara deep in his own zone allowed Hossa to spring Stumpel with a first-time, cross-ice pass at center. After dancing around Latvian defender GEORGIJS PUJACS of Russian club Sibir Novosibirsk, Stumpel softly dished to Chicago Black Hawks star MARIAN HOSSA, who finished with ease for his second goal in as many matches at the Vancouver Games.

Los Angeles Kings center MICHAL HANDZUS stole the puck from Latvian forward ALEKSEJS SIROKOVS of Russian club Amur Khabarovsk deep in the Latvia zone and cut in front of goal to shoot past Masalskis with a less than eight minutes to go in the second period to widen Slovakia’s margin to five.

Spartak Moscow defenseman IVAN BARANKA, with a blast from the left point that whistled perfectly past Masalskis into the top right hand corner of the net, closed Slovakia’s account with less than three minutes remaining in the match.

Slovakia goaltender JAROSLAV HALAK of the Montreal Canadiens followed his outstanding display versus Russia with 21 saves against Latvia for the shutout in an Olympic ice hockey contest.

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SLOVAKIA 6 – LATVIA 0

Shots-on-goal :  Slovakia 37 – Latvia 21

SVK goals :  Visnovsky, Zednik, Stumpel, Mn. Hossa, Handzus, Baranka

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Latvia forward HERBERTS VASILJEVS of German club EV Krefeld hammers Slovakia defenseman LUBOMIR VISNOVSKY (17) into the boards at the Winter Games in Vancouver. (AP photo)

Latvia forward HERBERTS VASILJEVS of German club EV Krefeld hammers Slovakia defenseman LUBOMIR VISNOVSKY (17) into the boards at the Winter Games in Vancouver. (AP photo)

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Slovakia's MICHAL HANDZUS (26) eyes the puck as Lativa defenseman GEORGIJS PUJACS (71) loses his balance at the Winter Games in Vancouver. (AP photo)

Slovakia's MICHAL HANDZUS (26) eyes the puck as Lativa defenseman GEORGIJS PUJACS (71) loses his balance at the Winter Games in Vancouver. (AP photo)

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Slovakia's LUBOS BARTECKO (23) of BK Farjestad Karlstad battles for the puck with veteran Latvian international ALEKSANDRS NIZIVIJS (17) of Dynamo Riga in Vancouver. (AP photo)

Slovakia's LUBOS BARTECKO (23) of BK Farjestad Karlstad battles for the puck with veteran Latvian international ALEKSANDRS NIZIVIJS (17) of Dynamo Riga in Vancouver. (AP photo)

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Slovakia's PAVOL DEMITRA (38) of the Olympic host city's NHL club, the Vancouver Canucks, is thwarted by Latvia goaltender EDGAR MASALSKIS at the 2010 Winter Games. Demitra scored the dramatic winner for Slovakia in their penalty-shot victory over Russia earlier in the tournament. (AP photo)

Slovakia's PAVOL DEMITRA (38) of the Olympic host city's NHL club, the Vancouver Canucks, is thwarted by Latvia goaltender EDGAR MASALSKIS at the 2010 Winter Games. Demitra scored the dramatic winner for Slovakia in their penalty-shot victory over Russia earlier in the tournament. (AP photo)

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Slovakia goal-scorer and one-time Florida Panther RICHARD ZEDNIK (20) of Kontinental Hockey League club Torpedo Yaroslavl is pursued by Lativa defenseman GEORGIJS PUJACS (71) of KHL club Sibir Novosibirsk. (Reuters photo)

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Slovakia defenseman LUBOMIR VISNOVSKY (17) is received by MARTIN STRBAK (77) and JOSEF STUMPEL (15) after opening the scoring on the power play early in the match versus Latvia in Vancouver. (Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

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Latvian goaltender EDGARS MASALSKIS (31) is beaten yet again in Vancouver as Slovakia celebrate and Masalskis' Dynamo Riga teammate, MARTINS CIPULIS (47), is left with little consolation in Vancouver. (Reuters photo)

Latvian goaltender EDGARS MASALSKIS (31) is beaten yet again in Vancouver as Slovakia celebrate and Masalskis' Dynamo Riga teammate, MARTINS CIPULIS (47), is left with little consolation in Vancouver. (Reuters photo)

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Slovakia’s King MICHAL HANDZUS (26) celebrates his goal after stealing the puck from Latvian forward ALEKSEJS SIROKOVS (88) in the third period of Slovakia’s 6-0 shutout victory in Vancouver. (Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

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Czech Rep 5 – Latvia 2 : Match Report

Czech Republic forward DAVID KREJCI (46) bags the game's opening goal as Latvia forwards ALEKSEJS SIROKOVS (88), left, and LAURIS DARZINS (10) can only observe. The Czech Republic downed Latvia 5-2 at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, Canada. (Jukka Rautio/HHOF-IIHF Images)

Czech Republic forward DAVID KREJCI (46) bags the game's opening goal as Latvia forwards ALEKSEJS SIROKOVS (88), left, and LAURIS DARZINS (10) can only observe. The Czech Republic downed Latvia 5-2 at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, Canada. (Jukka Rautio/HHOF-IIHF Images)

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The CZECH REPUBLIC came out firing on all cylinders against LATVIA by scoring three goals in the opening five minutes to take effective control of the match from the outset and remained unbeaten with a 5-2 win at the 2010 Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver.

Boston Bruin DAVID KREJCI connected for the Czechs the opening goal two and half minutes in after Latvian goaltender EDGAR MASALSKIS appeared to commit early and was followed at 3:33 by TOMAS PLEKANEC of the Montreal Canadiens with a redirected puck provided by MAREK ZIDLICKY of the Minnesota Wild, who totaled three assists in the contest.

A vintage rocket from the top of the right circle from JAROMIR JAGR of Avangard Omsk swelled the Czech Republic lead to 3-0 on the power play with just 5:07 played of a first period in which the Czechs piled up a 16-4 shots-on-goal advantage.

Another power play goal from Toronto Maple Leafs defenseman TOMAS KABERLE on a fine passing play involving Zidlicky and New Jersey Devil PATRIK ELIAS pushed the Czechs’ ahead by four six and a half minutes into the second period.

Facing the Czech Republic for the first time ever at the Winter Games, the Latvians attempted to fight back. With four and a half to go in the middle session, Dynamo Riga defenseman KRISTAPS SOTNIEKS, just out of the penalty box, collected a home run pass from HERBERTS VASILJEVS of German club EV Krefeld onsides at the Czech blue line. Sotnieks raced in on goal to beat TOMAS VOKOUN of the Florida Panthers with a wrist shot and delight the supporters of the tiny Baltic nation.

Following a little puck possession on a power play of their own, the Latvians added a second goal three minutes later. Dynamo Riga’s GIRTS ANKIPANS notched his second goal at the Vancouver Games to cut the Czech lead in half.

The Czech Republic, however, again dominated the third period with a 15-7 shot-on-goal margin to close out the contest; the Czech captain Elias elevated a puck in his own zone to score an empty-netter with eighteen seconds remaining and score his second goal at this year’s Winter Olympics.

Plekanec and Jagr also have registered two goals in two games for the Czech Republic at the 2010 Vancouver Games.

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CZECH REPUBLIC 5 – LATVIA 2

Shots-on-goal :  Czech Republic 39 – Latvia 18

CZE goals :  Krejci, Plekanec, Jagr, Kaberle, Elias

LAT goals :  Sotnieks, Ankipans

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Boston Bruin Krejci (46) takes advantage of Latvia goaltender EDGAR MASALSKIS to give the Czechs a 1-0 lead. "Maybe I fooled myself on the first goal," Masalskis reflected afterwards. (AP photo)

Boston Bruin Krejci (46) takes advantage of Latvia goaltender EDGAR MASALSKIS to give the Czechs a 1-0 lead. "Maybe I fooled myself on the first goal," Masalskis reflected afterwards. (AP photo)

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Krejci (46), trailed by Sirokovs (88), slides the puck past Masalskis after the fine passing play on the counterattack involving MARTIN ERAT of the Nashville Predators and Washington Capital TOMAS FLEISCHMANN. (Reuters photo)

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TOMAS ROLINEK of Metallug Magnitogorsk and MILAN MICHALEK of the Ottawa Senators signal the second Czech goal sent past Latvia goaltender EDGARS MASALSKIS inside the game’s first three and a half minutes. (Bruce Bennett/Reuters)

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37-year-old JAROMIR JAGR (68) of the Czech Republic, here pursued by defenseman and goal-scorer KRISTAPS SOTNIEKS (11), scored his 27th career goal at a major international tournament (75 games) against Latvia in the match at Vancouver. (Reuters photo)

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Czech Republic defenseman PAVEL KUBINA (77) of the NHL’s Atlanta Thrahsers is crunched against the boards by Latvia forward KASPARS DAUGAVINS (16) of the AHL’s Binghamton Senators at the 2010 Vancouver Games. (Molly Riley/Reuters)

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Czech Republic center ROMAN CERVENKA of Slavia Prague is smashed by Latvia defenseman and captain KARLIS SKRASTINS of the Dallas Stars as the linesman looks on at the Vancouver Games. (Bruce Bennett/Reuters)

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Czech Repbulic captain PATRIK ELIAS (26), hampered here by Latvian defenseman ARVIDS REKIS (3), finished off the match with an empty net goal. (AP Photo)

Czech Repbulic captain PATRIK ELIAS (26), hampered here by Latvian defenseman ARVIDS REKIS (3), finished off the match with an empty net goal. (AP Photo)

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Russia 8 – Latvia 2 : Match Report

Russia's ALEXANDER OVECHKIN (8) has his shot snuffed by Latvian defenseman ARVIDS REKIS at the 2010 Winter Olympics. Ovechkin scored a pair of goals as Russia overpowered Latvia 8-2 on opening day at the Vancouver Games. (Matthew Manor/HHOF-IIHF Images)

Russia's ALEXANDER OVECHKIN (8) has his shot snuffed by Latvian defenseman ARVIDS REKIS at the 2010 Winter Olympics. Ovechkin scored a pair of goals as Russia overpowered Latvia 8-2 on opening day at the Vancouver Games. (Matthew Manor/HHOF-IIHF Images)

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Washington Capitals winger ALEXANDER OVECHKIN and Ak Bars Kazan attacker DANIS ZARIPOV each scored two goals to spearhead an assault in which Russia overwhelmed Latvia 8-2 on opening day at the ice hockey tournament for the 2010 Winter Games in Vancouver.

Zaripov started the Russians’ goal parade barely two and a half minutes into the match. Nashville Predators defector and current Salavat Yulayev Ufa stud ALEXANDER RADULOV deposited another puck into Latvia’s cage with game not yet eight minutes old. And, Ovechkin opened his account at this year’s Olympics at the end of a first period in which Russia took 19 shots at Latvia’s besieged goalie EDGARS MASALSKIS.

Masalskis did manage to stop the bleeding for a bit but Pittsburgh Penquin EVGENY MALKIN put Russia 4-0 on the power play with less one hundred twenty seconds left in the second stanza.

Veteran HERBERTS VASILJEVS of German club EV Krefeld lifted Latvia with a goal 33 seconds into the third, but the Russians, unfortunately for the Baltic representatives, responded immediately with three goals in little more than two minutes to put the result beyond all doubt. Ovechkin, Zaripov and New Jersey Devil ILYA KOVALCHUK were the culprits. 

GIRTS ANKIPANS replied for Latvia shortly thereafter to cap a pinball-like three and a half minutes to start the final period; 33-year-old birthday boy and Ak Bars Kazan veteran ALEXEI MOROZOV, once a first round pick of the Pittsburgh Penquins in 1995, closed the books at 18:57 to set the final score at 8-2 for Russia.

The Russian Bear appears hungry.

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RUSSIA 8 – LATVIA 2

Shots-on-goal :  Russia 45 – Latvia 20

RUS goals : Ovechkin 2, Zaripov 2, Radulov, Malkin, Kovalchuk, Morozov

LAT goals : Vasiljevs, Ankipans

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Ovechkin’s pair of strikes pushes his total to 27 for Russia at major international tournaments with Kovalchuk now right behind on 26 goals; both players trail Russia’s all-time goal-scoring leader, ALEXEI YASHIN, who sets the pace with 30 goals.

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Latvia – Final Olympic Roster

Veteran international goaltender EDGARS MASALSKIS (31) will be key to any success (or failure) experienced by coach OLEGS ZNAROKS' Latvian squad at the 2010 Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver.

Veteran international goaltender EDGARS MASALSKIS (31) will be key to any success (or failure) experienced by coach OLEGS ZNAROKS' Latvian squad at the 2010 Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver.

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LATVIA — final roster for 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics

Coach — Olegs ZNAROKS —— Asst — Harijs Vitolins, Maris Baldonieks

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Goaltenders

  • #   1 — Ervins MUSTUKOVS — Dynamo Riga Juniors
  • # 30 — Sergejs NAUMOVS — Dynamo Riga Juniors
  • # 31 — Edgars MASALSKIS — Dynamo Riga

Defensemen

  • #   2 — Rodrigo LAVINS — Dynamo Riga
  • #   3 — Arvids REKIS — EHC Wolfsburg
  • #   7 — Karlis SKRASTINS — DALLAS
  • #   8 — Oskars BARTULIS — PHILADELPHIA
  • # 11 — Kristaps SOTNIEKS — Dynamo Riga
  • # 13 — Guntis GALVINS — Dynamo Riga
  • # 26 — Krisjanis REDLIHS — Dynamo Riga
  • # 71 — Georgijs PUJACS — Sibir Novosibirsk

Forwards

  • #   5 — Janis SPRUKTS — Dynamo Riga
  • #   9 — Martins KARSUMS — Dynamo Riga
  • # 10 — Lauris DARZINS — Dynamo Riga
  • # 12 — Herberts VASILJEVS — EV Krefeld
  • # 16 — Kaspars DAUGAVINS — Binghamton (AHL)
  • # 17 — Aleksandrs NIZIVIJS — Dynamo Riga
  • # 21 — Armands BERZINS — Dynamo Riga
  • # 24 — Mikelis REDLIHS — Dynamo Riga
  • # 47 — Martins CIPULIS — Dynamo Riga
  • # 75 — Girts ANKIPANS — Dynamo Riga
  • # 87 — Gints MEIJA — Dynamo Riga
  • # 88 — Aleksejs SIROKOVS — Amur Khabarovsk

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Latvia made no changes to their Olympic roster released over the Christmas holiday season.

NOTE — Former Boston Bruins 2nd round pick (2004, # 64 overall) and Tampa Bay Lightning farmhand MARTINS KARSUMS left the Norfolk Admirals (36 ga, 4 go 12 as, 16 pts) of the American Hockey League after the New Year to join Latvian club Dynamo Riga (9 ga, 2 go 2 as, 4 pts) in the Kontinental Hockey League.

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Latvia vs Russia – Match History

33-year-old ALEKSANDRS NIZIVIJS of Dynamo Riga is Latvia's leading scorer (15 go 25 as, 40 pts) all-time at major international tournaments.

33-year-old ALEKSANDRS NIZIVIJS of Dynamo Riga is Latvia's leading scorer (15 go 25 as, 40 pts) all-time at major international tournaments.

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Match history at major international tournaments :

LATVIA — versus — RUSSIA

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First meeting — 12 years ago — 1998 in Basel, Switzerland

Overall record — Russia 3 — Latvia 2

Winter Olympics record — Russia 1 — Lativa 0

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  • 1998 — WC – Basel —————————- 7-5 – Russia
  • 2000 — WC – St. Petersburg —————- 3-2 – Latvia
  • 2003 — WC – Tampere ———————– 2-1 – Latvia
  • 2006 — OG – Turin —————————– 9-2 – Russia
  • 2009 — WC – Bern —————————– 6-1 – Russia

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LATVIA : Olympic Roster Released

Stanley Cup champion SANDIS OZOLINS was not named to the roster of Latvia's national team for the 2010 Winter Olympic Games. The 37-year-old defenseman, already a two-time Olympian, has 5 goals and 14 points (- 5 rating, 81 pim) from 26 games for Dynamo Riga this season. Riga stand 16th out of twenty-four in the Kontinental Hockey League at present.

Stanley Cup champion SANDIS OZOLINS was not named to the roster of Latvia's national team for the 2010 Winter Olympic Games. The 37-year-old defenseman, already a two-time Olympian, has 5 goals and 14 points (- 5 rating, 81 pim) from 26 games for Dynamo Riga this season. Riga stand 16th out of twenty-four in the Kontinental Hockey League at present.

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LATVIA national team — 2010 Winter Olympic Games, Vancouver

Coach — Oleg ZNAROKS

Goaltenders

  • 11 app – 26 ga — 40 – Sergejs NAUMOVS — Dynamo Jrs Riga
  • 10 app – 21 ga — 29 – Edgars MASALSKIS — Dynamo Riga
  • 0 app —– 0 ga — 25 – Ervins MUSTUKOVS — Dynamo Jrs Riga

Defensemen

  • 12 app – 72 ga — 35 – Rodrigo LAVINS — Dynamo Riga
  • 10 app – 58 ga — 35 – Karlis SKRASTINS — DALLAS
  • 7 app — 37 ga — 30 – Arvids REKIS — EHC Wolfsburg
  • 6 app — 37 ga — 28 – Krisjanis REDLIHS — Dynamo Riga
  • 5 app — 31 ga — 23 – Guntis GALVINS — Dynamo Riga
  • 5 app — 29 ga — 28 – Georgijs PUJACS — Sibir Novosibirsk
  • 1 app —– 7 ga — 22 – Kristaps SOTNIEKS — Dynamo Riga
  • 1 app —– 4 ga — 22 – Oskars BARTULIS — PHILADELPHIA

Forwards

  • 13 app – 76 ga — 33 – Aleksandrs NIZIVIJS — Dynamo Riga
  • 9 app — 49 ga — 33 – Herberts VASILJEVS — EV Krefeld
  • 7 app — 41 ga — 27 – Janis SPRUKTS — Dynamo Riga
  • 7 app — 39 ga — 28 – Aleksejs SIROKOVS — Amur Khabarovsk
  • 6 app — 36 ga — 29 – Martins CIPULIS — Dynamo Riga
  • 6 app — 36 ga — 25 – Mikelis REDLIHS — Dynamo Riga
  • 4 app — 24 ga — 34 – Girts ANKIPANS — Dynamo Riga
  • 4 app — 24 ga — 26 – Armands BERZINS — Dynamo Riga
  • 4 app — 25 ga — 24 – Lauris DARZINS — Dynamo Riga
  • 3 app — 15 ga — 21 – Kaspars DAUGAVINS — Binghamton (AHL)
  • 2 app —– 8 ga — 23 – Martin KARSUMS — Norfolk (AHL)
  • 0 app —– 0 ga — 22 – Gints MEIJA — Dynamo Riga

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20 out of 23 for WORLD HOCKEY with Latvia’s Olympic roster.

A recall for ARVIDS REKIS of German club EHC Wolfsburg. The 30-year-old rearguard had his streak of seven consecutive major international tournaments for Latvia snapped at last spring’s IIHF World Championships.

Sadly no place for Dynamo Riga’s 37-year-old SANDIS OZOLINS, the one-time Soviet Union junior international. Ozolins was a Stanley Cup champion with the Colorado Avalanche in 1996 and a seven-time participant at the NHL All-Star Game. Ozolins was also chosen First Team All-Star by the National Hockey League for the 1996-97 season.

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Latvia National Team : Top 15 Points All-Time

ALEKSANDRS NIZIVIJS (17) is Latvia's all-time leading scorer at major international ice hockey events. Here, the 33-year-old Dynamo Riga right wing is pursued by Canada's MATTHEW LOMBARDI at the 2009 IIHF World Championships in Switzerland.

ALEKSANDRS NIZIVIJS (17) is Latvia's all-time leading scorer at major international ice hockey events. Here, the 33-year-old Dynamo Riga right wing is pursued by Canada's MATTHEW LOMBARDI at the 2009 IIHF World Championships in Switzerland.

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LATVIA NATIONAL TEAM — all-time major international tournaments

  • 40 pts – 15 go – 25 as — 13 app — Aleksandrs NIZIVIJS
  • 36 pts – 17 go – 19 as — 13 app — Leonids TAMBIJEVS
  • 30 pts – 15 go – 15 as —– 9 app — Aleksandrs KERCS
  • 28 pts – 11 go – 17 as — 12 app — Aigars CIPRUSS
  • 28 pts – 18 go – 10 as — 13 app — Aleksandrs SEMJONOVS
  • 26 pts – 14 go – 12 as —– 7 app — Aleksandrs BELAVSKIS
  • 25 pts – 15 go – 10 as —– 5 app — Sergejs ZOLTOKS
  • 25 pts – 10 go – 15 as —– 7 app — Harijs VITOLINS
  • 24 pts — 9 go – 15 as — 10 app — Grigorijs PANTELEEVS
  • 23 pts – 11 go – 12 as — 10 app — Karlis SKRASTINS
  • 22 pts – 12 go – 10 as —– 7 app — Vjacheslavs FANDULS
  • 22 pts — 9 go – 13 as —– 9 app — Herberts VASILJEVS
  • 22 pts — 4 go – 18 as — 12 app — Rodrigo LAVINS
  • 21 pts — 9 go – 12 as —– 6 app — Martins CIPULIS
  • 19 pts — 4 go – 15 as —– 5 app — Sandis OZOLINS

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Latvia – Rolf’s Roster Picks

LAURIS DARZINS (10) shoots past Finnish goalie NIKLAS BACKSTROM to give Latvia an early 1-0 lead in the qualification round at the 2008 IIHF World Championships in Canada. Finland eventually rallied for a 2-1 victory over Lativa. Darzins, 24, is a legitimte young goal scorer on the wing for Latvia, with nine markers in 25 matches at major international events.

LAURIS DARZINS (10) shoots past Finnish goalie NIKLAS BACKSTROM to give Latvia an early 1-0 lead in the qualification round at the 2008 IIHF World Championships in Canada. Finland eventually rallied for a 2-1 victory over Lativa. Darzins, 24, is a legitimte young goal scorer on the wing for Latvia, with nine markers in 25 matches at major international events.

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According to the International Ice Hockey Federation, the Olympic roster for the national team of Latvia is set to be released December 29.

LATVIA OLYMPIC SQUAD — Rolf’s roster picks

Goaltenders

  • 10 app – 21 ga — 29 – Edgar MASALSKIS — Dynamo Riga
  • 2 app —– 0 ga — 29 – Dmitrijs ZABOTINSKIS — Metalurgs Liepaja
  • 0 app —– 0 ga — 25 – Ervins MUSTUKOVS — Dynamo Jrs Riga

Defensemen

  • 12 app – 72 ga — 35 – Rodrigo LAVINS — Dynamo Riga
  • 10 app – 58 ga — 35 – Karlis SKRASTINS — DALLAS
  • 6 app — 37 ga — 28 – Krisjanis REDLIHS — Dynamo Riga
  • 5 app — 31 ga — 23 – Guntis GALVINS — Dynamo Riga
  • 5 app — 29 ga — 28 – Georgijs PUJACS — Sibir Novosibirsk
  • 4 app — 24 ga — 25 – Aleks YEROFEYEVS — Mtlrg Novokuznetsk
  • 4 app — 15 ga — 37 – Sandis OZOLINS — Dynamo Riga
  • 1 app —– 4 ga — 22 – Oskars BARTULIS — PHILADELPHIA

Centers

  • 9 app – 49 ga — 33 – Herberts VASILJEVS — EV Krefeld
  • 7 app – 41 ga — 27 – Janis SPRUKTS — Dynamo Riga
  • 7 app – 39 ga — 28 – Aleksejs SIROKOVS — Amur Khabarovsk
  • 4 app – 24 ga — 26 – Armands BERZINS — Dynamo Riga

Right Wings

  • 13 app – 76 ga — 33 – Aleksandrs NIZIVIJS — Dynamo Riga
  • 6 app — 36 ga — 25 – Mikelis REDLIHS — Dynamo Riga
  • 2 app —– 8 ga — 23 – Martins KARSUMS — Norfolk (AHL)
  • 0 app —– 0 ga — 22 – Kaspars SAULIETIS — Dynamo Minsk

Left Wings

  • 6 app – 36 ga — 29 – Martins CIPULIS — Dynamo Riga
  • 4 app – 25 ga — 24 – Lauris DARZINS — Dynamo Riga
  • 4 app – 24 ga — 34 – Girts ANKIPANS — Dynamo Riga
  • 3 app – 15 ga — 21 – Kaspars DAUGAVINS — Binghamton (AHL)

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One player who did not appear on Lativas’ preliminary roster was center ARMANDS BERZINS of Dynamo Riga.

The 26-year-old was a fifth round NHL draft pick (# 155 overall) of the Minnesota Wild in 2002 who has played two seasons each of Canadian junior hockey (with the Shawinigan Cataractes – QMJHL) and North American minor league pro (in the ECHL for the Louisiana Gators and Wheeling Nailers).

Berzins also has a campaign under his belt from the Czech elite league (HC Vsetin) in addition to a spell in the Slovak elite league (HK Nitra).

Berzins has split this season between Dynamo Riga (22 ga, 1 go 1 as, 2 pts) in the Kontinental Hockey League and Dynamo Jrs Riga (13 ga, 2 go 5 as, 7 pts) in the Belarus elite league.

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Latvia’s Preliminary Olympic Roster

Stanley Cup champion SANDIS OZOLINS is heavily experienced having played 875 National Hockey League games (167 go 397 as, 564 pts). The 37-year-old two-time Olympic veteran (6 ga, 1 go 7 as, 8 pts) was once a world-class offensive threat on the blueline. Ozolins has four goals and 12 points in 23 games this season for Dynamo Riga in the Kontinental Hockey League.

Stanley Cup champion SANDIS OZOLINS is heavily experienced having played 875 National Hockey League games (167 go 397 as, 564 pts). The 37-year-old two-time Olympic veteran (6 ga, 1 go 7 as, 8 pts) was once a world-class offensive threat on the blueline. Ozolins has four goals and 12 points in 23 games this season for Dynamo Riga in the Kontinental Hockey League.

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LATVIA PRELIMINARY ROSTER

Goaltenders

  • 40 — 5’10″ 180 lb — Sergejs NAUMOVS — Dynamo Jrs. Riga
  • 29 — 5’10″ 175 lb — Edgars MASALSKIS — Dynamo Riga
  • 29 — 5’9″ 176 lb — Dmitrijs ZABOTINSKIS — Metlaurgs Liepaja
  • 25 — 6’2″ 165 lb — Ervins MUSTUKOVS — Dynamo Jrs. Riga
  • 23 — 6’1″ 160 lb — Ugis AVOTINS — HK Ogre
  • 20 — 5’11″ 180 lb — Nauris ENKUZENS — Dynamo Jrs. Riga  

Defensemen

  • 37 — 6’3″ 205 lb — Sandis OZOLINS — Dynamo Riga
  • 35 — 6’1″ 208 lb — Karlis SKRASTINS — DALLAS
  • 35 — 5’10″ 185 lb — Rodrigo LAVINS — Dynamo Riga
  • 35 — 5’10″ 180 lb — Olegs SOROKINS — Dynamo Riga
  • 33 — 6’3″ 220 lb — Atvars TRIBUNCOVS — HC Karlovy Vary
  • 30 — 6’0″ 205 lb — Arvids REKIS — EHC Wolfsburg
  • 28 — 6’1″ 210 lb — Georgijs PUJACS — Sibir Novosibirsk
  • 28 — 6’2″ 190 lb — Krisjanis REDLIHS — Dynamo Riga
  • 27 — 6’1″ 190 lb — Jekabs REDLIHS — Dynamo Riga
  • 27 — 6’2″ 200 lb — Agris SAVIELS — Metallurg Zhlobin
  • 27 — 5’11″ 190 lb — Maksims SIROKOVS — HK Nitra 
  • 25 — 6’2″ 190 lb — Aleksdrs YEROFEYEVS — Mtlrg  Novokuznetsk
  • 23 — 6’1″ 190 lb — Guntis GALVINS — Dynamo Riga 
  • 23 — 6’2″ 194 lb — Janis ANDERSONS — HC Trinec
  • 22 — 6’2″ 184 lb — Oskars BARTULIS — PHILADELPHIA
  • 22 — 6’0″ 190 lb — Kristaps SOTNIEKS — Dynamo Riga
  • 21 — 6’2″ 195 lb — Arturs KULDA — Chicago (AHL)
  • 21 — 6’2″ 190 lb — Oskars CIBULSKIS — Dynamo Jrs. Riga
  • 20 — 6’4″ 204 lb — Kriss GRUNDMANIS — Dynamo Jrs. Riga

Forwards

  • 34 — 5’9″ 176 lb — Aleksandrs MACIJEVSKIS — IK SonderjyskE
  • 34 — 6’1″ 195 lb — Girts ANKIPANS — Dynamo Riga
  • 33 — 5’10″ 185 lb — Herberts VASILJEVS — EV Krefeld
  • 33 — 5’10″ 170 lb — Aleksandrs NIZIVIJS — Dynamo Riga
  • 30 — 6’4″ 240 lb — Raitis IVANANS — LOS ANGELES
  • 29 — 5’11″ 185 lb — Martins CIPULIS — Dynamo Riga
  • 29 — 5’10″ 190 lb — Vladimirs MAMONOVS — Metalurgs Liepaja
  • 28 — 6’0″ 190 lb — Aleksejs SIROKOVS — Amur Khabarovsk
  • 28 — 5’10″ 175 lb — Viktors BLINOVS — Metallurg Zhlobin
  • 27 — 6’3″ 215 lb — Janis SPRUKTS — Dynamo Riga
  • 27 — 6’3″ 198 lb — Juris STALS — Quad City (IHL)
  • 26 — 6’0″ 195 lb — Edijs BRAHMANIS — Metalurgs Liepaja
  • 25 — 5’10″ 180 lb — Mikelis REDLIHS — Dynamo Riga
  • 25 — 6’3″ 190 lb — Vladislavs VODOLAZSKIS — Rossoblu Milan
  • 24 — 6’2″ 185 lb — Lauris DARZINS — Dynamo Riga
  • 24 — 5’11″ 165 lb — Guntis DZERINS — HK Ozolniecki/Monarhs
  • 24 — 6’3″ 185 lb — Raimonds DANILICS — Swindon Wildcats
  • 23 — 5’10″ 192 lb — Martins KARSUMS — Norfolk (AHL)
  • 23 — 5’9″ 165 lb — Elvis ZELUBOVSKIS — HK Gomel
  • 22 — 6’3″ 190 lb — Kaspars SAULIETIS — Dynamo Minsk
  • 22 — 6’0″ 175 lb — Gints MEIJA — Dynamo Riga
  • 22 — 6’2″ 200 lb — Sergejs PECURA — Krylja Sovetov
  • 22 — 6’0″ 180 lb — Toms HARTMANIS — Dynamo Jrs. Riga
  • 21 — 6’0″ 205 lb — Kaspars DAUGAVINS — Binghamton (AHL)
  • 21 — 6’2″ 180 lb — Andris DZERINS — Dynamo Riga
  • 20 — 5’11″ 198 lb — Roberts JEKIMOVS — Dynamo Jrs. Riga 
  • 19 — 6’0″ 190 lb — Alberts ILISKO — IF Nynashamns

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