Early ice hockey (RUS-LAT)

It’s 6:45 am in Riga and I’m waking up for the 09:00 pm Vancouver ice hockey match between Russia and Latvia. Quickly I check the main ingredients. TV = on, left eye = open – right eye = too. Coffee!!! Yes, ice hockey and coffee.

After only 20 seconds a Latvian player gets a time penalty and after 2 minutes and 38 seconds Russia scores 1:0. 3 minutes 26 seconds: another time penalty for a Latvian player… Just before the match I’ve been watching the summaries of the matches USA-Switzerland and Canada-Norway. The first ended in an easy 3:1 win for team USA. In the second game Canada crushed Norway completely, 8:0. Even if Latvia makes it through their group, against either of this two opponents it will get crumbled.

Latvia survives the second 2-minute period of power play, but even with five field players it seems impossible to get away from own half. A rare counter attack leads to nothing. After less than eight minutes the division of shots on goal is 9:2 and the Russians easily get to score the 2:0 only a few seconds later. Maybe I don’t want to see this, maybe I’d better go back to bed…

During the first period at 7:30 am.

During the first period at 7:30 am | Riga, Latvia

Finally some decent Latvian attacks and even a little bit of pressure on Russia. But their defense is very professional and the goalkeeper stops a few good shots. The first power play by Latvia results only in a few fights and when the fifth Russian field player returns the one way traffic continues. For a couple of minutes Latvia grows a little stronger, but only 35 seconds before the end of the first period a defensive mistake results in 3:0.

The second period goes well for a few minutes and Latvia even gets to power play, unfortunately this doesn’t result in the much-needed Latvian goal. Halfway the period Latvia first survives power play and then gets another opportunity to score in a player more situation. Decent Latvian play isn’t enough for the 4:0 during one of the many two minute penalty periods. Also the shots on goal statistics (31:12) reflect the difference between the two teams.

In the mean time it gets light outside | Riga, Latvia

In the mean time it gets light outside | Riga, Latvia

Period 3 starts with a well-executed Latvian attack, resulting in the 4:1. Either for celebration purposes or to just forget being 3 goals behind I’m considering to get the bottle of Vodka from the freezer. But before I finished writing the previous line Russia scores 5:1, way too easy… Continues pressure gets Russia further ahead, the 6th and 7th goal go in within a few minutes. The last 15 minutes are going to be very very hard. Ok, ok, Russia is not that good, it’s 7:2 and power play. The last ten minutes are tough, but the guys are doing great. Surviving power play situations goes pretty well, out of eight periods only one has resulted in a Russian goal.

The last minutes Russia takes it easy. No reason to spoil energy on an already won game. For Latvia it’s great to compete in Olympics again, for Russia only gold will do. But they’re facing strong competition from USA, Canada and Sweden. Final result Russia-Latvia 8:2. Saturday Czech Republic, Sunday Slovakia. Let’s hope these countries will prove to be more equal opponents.

For a number of reasons I’d suggest to organize future Olympic Games in Latvia. Two of the reasons: This night only there’s been more snow than in Vancouver throughout the whole season and time-wise it would be much better. That’s it, time for breakfast!


~ by George on 17.02.10.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: