Sweden played Latvia in it’s third game in the Olympics Saturday afternoon. They won their first game against an aging Czech Republic team 4-2, and their last game, played without Zetterberg, they barely snuck by Switzerland 1-0. Latvia lost it’s first game 1-0 against Switzerland in a heart way when the Swiss scored with 7 seconds left. Latvia then lost to the Czechs 4-2, in their second game.
Lundqvist got his third straight start for Tre Kronor, after posting a shutout in his last appearance. While Latvia went with Kristers Gudlevskis for the first time in the Games.
Latvia gave Sweden all they could handle in the physical game early. Team Sweden was dominant in the first period of the game against the Czechs, but since then they have look well matched against inferior teams. Latvia gave Sweden fits in the first period, frustrating them in both ends of the ice.
Sweden when the first to put the yummy biscuit in the basket when Patrick Berglund deflected an Erik Karlsson slapshot. While on the second power play for Sweden, Berglund completely redirected Karlsson’s shot from the point, 1-0 Swedes with 4:10 to play in the period.
Then with 1:12 left in the period, Latvia ended Lundqvist’s shutout streak with Lauris Darzins breakaway goal. Darzins pulled Lundqvist out of position and made him pay.
Latvia shocked the Swdes early in the second period when they took a 2-1 lead of their first power play of the game. A similar goal to Sweden, Janis Sprukts deflected a Krisjanis Redlihs shot that beat Lundqvist glove side. 2-1 Latvia 1:46 into the period.
Sweden then capitalized on Latvia’s next penalty, tying the game at two with 17:15 left in the period. Erik Karlsson one timed a pass from Nick Backstrom past Gudlevskis’ blocker. Backstrom then proceeded to tackle Karlsson while celebrating.
Marcus Johansson almost took the lead when Sandis Ozolins almost made a bad change. Johansson filled the ice that Ozolins left open and had a one on one chance against Gudlevski.
Sweden then took the lead with 3:46 left in the second period. Daniel Alfredsson’s one timer beat a disabled Gudlevski to the blocker side. Ozolins knocked Louis Eriksson into his own goaltender, making it almost impossible to make the save.
Jimmie Eriksson, the only non-NHLer on the Swedish roster scored the 4th power play goal for Sweden. Eriksson was in the right place in the right time when he jumped over Ekman-Larsson’s slapshot, then recovered it after it bounce of the boards, backhanding it in.
Latvia has been playing extremely well through two periods against one of the tournament favorites. They are just hurting themselves by taking dumb penalties, allowing Sweden to go 4-5 while man up.
Latvia cut the lead to one with another early power play goal. With 18:32, Latvia’s only NHL player Zemus Girgensons, scored after a big scramble in front. Latvia doesn’t want to go away in this game, giving Sweden all they have.
Sweden then reclaimed their two goal lead, on a goal by Alex Edler, his first of the tournament. As many sports go, after a great chance for Latvia, Sweden counters with a goal. Edler’s wrist shot beat Gudlevski blocker side, ending Latvia’s game.