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Sweden Survives Latvia, Keeps Climbing in Group B

One more day remains in the preliminary round

by Ron Knabenbauer @RonKnab /

Sweden (5) vs. Latvia (4)

Team Sweden squeaked by Latvia for a 5-4 victory on Monday at the 2019 IIHF World Championship at Ondrej Nepela Arena in Bratislava, Slovakia.

The game was a back-and-forth matchup that Latvia needed to win in regulation in order to keep its hopes of a quarterfinal berth alive. Latvia entered the day six points behind idle Switzerland but had a game in hand in the Group B standings.

Both countries played with desperation in the contest, with neither able to gain more than a one-goal advantage throughout. Latvia led 3-2 in the third period, but Sweden retook the edge on the scoreboard with two goals in 1:09 span midway through the frame.

Sweden's lead lasted for less than seven minutes as Robert Bukarts retied the contest with 3:24 left to play.

With time running out and a possible overtime nearing, Latvia pulled its goaltender for the extra attacker to find the back of the net one more time and gain the three points in the standings. Those hopes ended when Sweden's Dennis Rasmussen scored into the empty net on a long shot from the defensive zone with 34 seconds remaining.

Avalanche forward Gabriel Landeskog had one assist, two shots and a plus-1 rating in 20:09 of ice time for Sweden in the game.

The victory for the Swedes move them into a tie with the Czech Republic for second place in Group B. Both countries have 5-0-0-1 records and 15 points, but the Czechs presently hold the tiebreaker with a better goal differential.

Sweden will get its chance to overtake the Czech Republic and possibly claim the top spot in the pool when they face Group B-leader Russia (6-0-0-0) on the final day of the preliminary round on Tuesday.

Latvia (2-0-0-4) wraps up its tournament on Tuesday against Norway (2-0-0-4).


Canada (5) vs. Denmark (0)

Canada scored three goals in the first period and kept rolling to defeat Denmark 5-0 on Monday in their World Championship preliminary round game at Steel Arena in Kosice, Slovakia.

Sam Reinhart (Buffalo Sabres) scored twice for Canada, while the Vegas Golden Knights' Jonathan Marchessault (one goal, one assist) and Mark Stone (two assists) both had multi-point outings as well.

Avalanche forward Tyson Jost did not play in the game for Canada. He has two assists in four games at the 2019 Worlds.

The win improves Canada's record to 5-0-0-1 and moves it into second place in Group A, while Denmark drops to 1-1-0-4 in the tournament.

Canada wraps up the preliminary round on Tuesday against the United States (4-1-0-1), which trails Canada by one point and Group A-leader Finland (16) by two points.

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