RIGA ─ Latvia has returned home from the IIHF world championships without the results they had been hoping for.
In a tournament that produced more upsets than expected results, Latvia could not make an upset of their own, or in fact win games which were realistically within their capabilities.
Recording just the two wins over Italy (5-2) and Norway (5-0) was never going to be enough to see them qualify for the quarter finals, falling short of their pre-tournament expectations.
In particular, they will be left ruing their loss to the Czech Republic, a game they needed to win to move onto the quarter finals. Following a scoreless first period, the Czechs scored an unprecedented two short-handed goals in the second period as the Latvians suffered a major lapse in concentration every time they were skating with an extra man on the ice.
Although they managed a goal of their own in the final period, a third to the Czechs wrapped up the game and sealed the fate of the Latvians who went to book their tickets home.
The loss also signaled the end of the season for all of those in the Latvian team, who will now take a well earned rest before preseason training begins for most in a little over two months time.
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