Canucks’ Arturs Silovs sharp in goal as Latvia picks up first win of IIHF World Championship
Photo credit:Team Latvia
14 days ago
Vancouver Canucks fans got a glimpse of what goaltending prospect Arturs Silovs is capable of when the 22-year-old 2019 sixth round pick made his NHL debut this past season.
With an oftentimes porous defence group in front of him, Silovs mustered together a 3-2 record with a .908 save percentage and a goals against average of 2.75 through five starts at the NHL level before returning to the AHL’s Abbotsford Canucks. He showed plenty of promise in those starts, seemingly getting better and more comfortable with each game he played.
Silovs first caught the eye of the Canucks when he was Latvia’s goaltender at the U18s in his draft year. There, he managed to post a .918 save percentage despite his team winning just one of the five games he played in. Silovs faced a ton of shots, and managed to post respectable numbers despite the team in front of him not being very good.
That’s basically continued on the international stage ever since, and this year, it took just five minutes of game time for Silovs to become Latvia’s starter at this year’s IIHF World Championship. Silovs came in for relief duty after Latvia’s starter Ivars Punnenovs allowed two goals on the first five shots he faced from Canada. Silovs finished off that game and was tapped just a day later for the team’s game against Slovakia, a game Latvia lost by a final score of 2-1.
On Monday, Latvia picked up their first win, upsetting Czechia in overtime with a 4-3 win. Silovs made four saves in overtime to go along with a 22 save performance. While those numbers may seem low, Silovs made some key stops on some five-alarm chances that the defence in front of him allowed to develop. This blocker save in which Silovs dropped his stick and followed the loose puck through traffic got some love from the IIHF Twitter account:
Latvia held a 3-2 lead late in the game, but Czechia managed to tie things up with roughly three minutes to go.
Oskars Blatna managed to seal the deal late in overtime and the celebration was ELECTRIC from the Latvian side. You can easily spot Silovs in this video because he’s got his blue and green Canucks gear on!
Latvia has a day off on Tuesday before returning to action against Norway on Wednesday, and it would be shocking to see Latvia turn away from Silovs. We’ll have more updates on all of the Canucks at the World Championship dropping soon!
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