IIHF World Championship Top Division 2019 Latvia – Austria #95 Oskars Batna, #27 Oskars Cibulski, #58 Guntis Galvins. Ondrej Nepela Arena, Bratislava ©Puckfans.at/Andreas Robanser

Group B – Ondrej Nepla Arena, Bratislava:

The second match in Bratislava faced Austria and Latvia. The Austrians were accordingly motivated after the very good performance in the last Test match against Canada. The last game that could be won against Latvia was in 2013.

The Austrians gave the first goal shot by Heinrich on the Latvian goal, but Gudlevskis stopped. Then the Latvians were on the move and Goalie Kickert was able to fend off shots from Kenins and Meija. In a shot from Gegeris the puck went into the outer net, and Bucharts only hits the pole. The Austrians played along playfully, but Obrist and Haudum forgave their chances to lead. The Latvians came after an unnecessary foul by Peter to Roberts Bucharts for a 5-minute power play. In addition, Peter was charged with a match penalty and sent to the cabin. This power play does not leave for Latvia as desired. Although Abols, Balcers and Blugers had their chances, but Goalie Kickert could hold everything. In this power play, the Austrians came to the Latvian zone. After an accurate pass from Pallestrang to Michael Raffl, he scores with a short hander the 1-0 goal for Austria (15.). Despite the lead, Latvia still had the power play. After a shot from Darzins, Kickert fights off shortly and Balcers scored the 1-1 equalizer from close range (16). The Austrians had a power play, but Gudlevskis was able to defend himself against Schumnig and Haudum. A few seconds before the break Latvia had a 2-1 draw, but Galvins could not accept the ball from Balcers. He hit the stick with a hole in the air.

IIHF World Championship Top Division 2019 Latvia – Austria #30 David Kickert, #91 Dominique Heinrich, #87 Gints Meija, #95 Oskars Batna Ondrej Nepela Arena, Bratislava ©Puckfans.at/Andreas Robanser

In the second period, the playful superiority of the Latvians was not to be overlooked. Austria had a good chance by Herburger, but Gudlevskis was back on the spot. Halfway through the game, the Latvian team increased the number of strokes and worked chance by chance. Cibulskis, Abols and Blugers fail Goalie Kickert. A shot from Marenis passes just over the gate. In one of the rare counterattack of the Austrians Schneider found a good opportunity. Latvia again increased pressure, attacking the Austrians very early. So Blugers got the chance on Kickert alone, but the Austrian goalie was very good. Towards the end of the period Latvia came to a power play and sat down in the Austrian zone. Freibergs with a shot next to the goal, Balcers and Darzins fail to Kickert. Seconds later Meija stood alone before Kickert standing the chance, but the Austrian goalkeeper prevented a goal. One minute before the second break Latvia came back to a power play, which was taken in the last period.

The Latvians use the power play at the beginning of the final period. After a pass from Balcers Darzins scored the first lead to 2-1 (41.). Shortly after this goal, Austria had a power play, could not take advantage of the opportunities by Haudum and Schneider. With the lead in the back the Latvians played big now. With a shot in the cross, Abols scored the 3-1 (45.). In another power play for Latvia Kenins gives his chance. A little later, Cibulskis plays the puck to Meija. The dubbed Pallenstrang and completed with a shot in the cross corner to 4-1 (48.). Austria resisted the impending defeat, but Hofer and Schneider failed at Gudlevskis. When it came to the end of the game Austria came to a power play. After a good game build Herburger shortened to 2-4 (56.). Latvians’ answer came just 16 seconds later. After a pass from Balcers Kenins shoots the puck untenable to 5-2 under the bar (56.). With this goal, the game was finally decided and the Latvians celebrate an important victory.

Photo Galerie LAT vs AUT

Team Latvia vs Team Austria 5-2 (1-1, 0-0, 4-1)

Group A – Steel Arena, Kosice:

In parallel play in Kosice there was the first appearance of Great Britain against Germany. The Germans competed with the NHL stars Draisaitl, Kahnun and Seidenberg and were clearly favorites.

In Kosice there was a rather meager game to see. The Germans had a playful advantage, but could not put that into goals. The British acted very low in defense, so there was hardly any getting through. There was a Pwer-Play in each of these periods, but the goals did not come. After twenty minutes this was 0-0.

In Kosice there was also the same picture in the middle period. Germany visually superior, but Britain defended itself with great skill and could prevent goals. The pressure of the Germans grew bigger and bigger. Only a few seconds before the second break, the Germans manage the lead. Seider scored, after pass from Seidenberg, the redeeming 1-0 (40.).

After the break, the British pushed for the equalizer and succeeded. After a good single action Hammond scored the equalizer goal to 1-1 (44.). This goal woke the Germans and came with good play again and again in front of the British goal. After a pass from Plachta Ehliz scores the 2-1 (51.). Some minutes later Draisaitl scored to 3-1 (53.), again came from Plachta the assist. At the game changed nothing more afterwards and Germany wins against the newly promoted earned 3-1.

Team Germany vs Team Great Britain 3-1 (0-0, 1-0, 2-1)