Canucks at Worlds: Silovs and Latvia nearly upset Canada, USA loses to Germany
Photo credit:Hockey Canada on Twitter
3 months ago
If you were up at 4:30 this morning, you would have seen Tyler Myers and Ethan Bear trying to punch their ticket to the finals against an underdog Latvian squad led by 22-year-old Canucks goaltending prospect Arturs Silovs. Silovs was once again sensational, and Latvia nearly pulled off the upset against the team that they fell 6-0 to in both teams’ first game of the tournament.
Let’s start with this game.
Latvia has been defending in a manner similar to how the Canucks did against Vegas in the 2020 playoff bubble. They’re clogging the slot with bodies and have done their best to keep any and all shots to the outside. Silovs has exceptional puck tracking ability and is lightning quick with his pads down on the ice, so despite this style of defending leading to some mad scrambles right in front of him, Latvia’s been able to get away with it.
As expected, they played that style again today, and it nearly worked.
Silovs stopped all nine of the shots he faced in the first period, and Latvia even managed to open the scoring in this one! Dans Locmelis’ goal gave Latvia a 1-0 lead heading into the second.
Canada peppered Silovs with 16 shots in the second frame, with Latvia managing just six on Sam Montembeault. Both goaltenders allowed a goal each, meaning Latvia was clinging onto a 2-1 lead heading into the third.
Silovs made an extremely clutch and impressive save off Tyler Myers in the final minute of the second. A broken play at the side of the net had Silovs down on the ice, seemingly out of position. The puck was slid to Myers streaking towards the slot, and somehow, Silovs was able to get square to it, showing off that lateral quickness that we talked about earlier.
Canada tied the game up quickly into the third after Jack Quinn let go of a shot from below the goal line that banked off Silovs and into the back of the net:
Latvia held down the fort for a bit, but eventually, expected second overall pick Adam Fantilli simply decided to take this game over.
Canada added an empty netter, and that would be all she wrote. Latvia will now face off against the loser of USA-Germany, with Canada facing off against the winner on Sunday morning. Speaking of that USA vs. Germany game…
USA pulled ahead to a 2-0 lead within the opening five minutes against a weaker German team. Before the end of the first period, Germany had battled back to tie things up and show they weren’t going down easily in this one.
The second period was full of tight-checking and limited opportunities, with neither side willing to give an inch. Conor Garland had a very smart read as Germany tried to transition the puck the other way, intercepting the puck in the neutral zone and sending the play back into the German end. He picked up the secondary assist on the only goal of the period, but was instrumental in creating this play.
With less than two minutes remaining and with USA defending a one-goal lead in the dying moments of the third, Germany yanked their goalie and sent out an extra attacker.
Then Marcel Noebels scored the goal of his life:
This forced overtime, which opened the door for Frederik Tiffels to score the goal of his life!
USA and Latvia will now play for the Bronze medal, while Canada will face off against Germany for the Gold. Both games take place tomorrow, and we’ll have full coverage of both!
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