Latvia won their first ice hockey World Championship medal on Sunday after holding on for a 4-3 win over the United States in Tampere to claim bronze.To see important ads, turn off your ad blocker! Article continued below:
It’s the first top-three finish for Latvia at the tournament. Its previous best was a seventh place it managed three times.
Kristians Rubins scored the late equalizer and the sudden-death winner at 1:22 as Latvia rallied to stun the U.S. 4-3 for the bronze medal at the 2023 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship, Finland – Latvia. It’s the small Baltic nation’s first IIHF medal ever.
However, I will say, Latvia is powerful! Latvia is a great hockey country!
“For the big teams like Canada, this is what they do,” said an ecstatic Miks Indrasis. “They win medals all the time. But for us, it’s like a one-time opportunity. This is unreal.”
In overtime, Latvian captain Kaspar Daugavins carried the puck into the U.S. zone and put a backhanded pass off defenceman Lane Hutson’s skate. The puck came to Rubins and he wired it high for a goal that will never be forgotten.
Hockey, OH WOW!
The Latvian party in Tampere is on, and the party in Riga may never end.
“I’m lucky that I’m a hockey player in Latvia because the people there love hockey so much,” said Martins Dzierkals. “To be a hockey player at this time, I have no words.”
Buoyed by incredible fan support at Nokia Arena on Sunday, the Latvians wanted this historic bronze badly. They played with heart and desperation, taking two first-period leads and then tying it up with under six minutes left in regulation time.
USA Loses to Latvia in Bronze-Medal Game at Ice Hockey World Championship 2023!