Arturs Silovs shines as starter in 2-1 loss to Slovakia on day two of IIHF World Championship
16 days ago
Saturday marked the second day of the IIHF World Championship in Riga, Latvia, and Tampere, Finland. Just one of the four members of the Vancouver Canucks at the tournament was in action, as young netminder Arturs Silovs’ Latvian squad faced off against Slovakia.
Silovs entered less than five minutes into the first period during Friday’s matchup against Canada and was solid in relief, stopping 20 of the 24 shots he faced from a strong Canadian side. Silovs got zero run support, as his team was blanked by Canada, falling by a final score of 6-0.
Somewhat unsurprisingly, Silovs’ performance was good enough to pick up the start on Saturday despite it being a back-to-back situation. Silovs played NHL games this past season and looked more and more like he belonged at that level with each start he made. That’s more than most of his Latvian teammates can say, although some of them did spend at least some time in the NHL. Ronald Kenins, who had a cup of coffee with the Canucks, is on Silovs’ team at this tournament.
But despite having the Latvian who tallied 12 points through 30 NHL games with the Canucks in 2014-15 on their side, Latvia came up just short against Slovakia.
Matus Sukel opened the scoring for Slovakia just 44 seconds into the game after some defensive zone coverage from Latvia that made the Canucks look like the 2022-23 Boston Bruins:
Silovs made some huge saves throughout the game, which allowed his team to escape the first period down by just a goal, and even held the door open long enough for them to tie it up when Rodrigo Abols (a former seventh round of the Canucks) scored with less than five minutes remaining in the second period.
The two teams were even heading into the third, and Silovs’ strong play was a big reason why.
10 minutes into the third and final frame, Slovakia pulled ahead once again, as Marek Hrivk banged in a rebound off of a point shot:
Despite Slovakia taking three minor penalties in the span of five minutes, the Latvian power play failed to convert and ultimately fell to Slovakia by a final score of 2-1. Silovs stopped 27 of 29 in this one.
Latvia is back in action on Monday, when they face off against Czechia. But before that, Tyler Myers and Ethan Bear’s Canada squad and Conor Garland’s Team USA will play on Sunday. Canada takes on Slovenia, and USA takes on Hungary.
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