Latvia stuns Switzerland in World Cup hockey

Latvia stunned 2013 runners-up Switzerland 2-1 in overtime at the ice hockey world championships on Wednesday while defending champions Russia beat minnows Denmark 5-2.

Latvia stuns Switzerland in World Cup hockey
Switzerland forward Thomas Rufenacht falls into the empty net as he fails to score during match with Latvia. Photo: Alexander Nemenov/AFP

In Group A played in Prague, underdog Latvia bested Switzerland to collect its first points at the tournament.

Andris Dzerins scored in the 25th minute and Latvia goalie Edgars Masalskis kept a clean sheet until the 59th minute when Janis Sprukts scored an own goal with Switzerland's Matthias Bieber earning the honours as his team's last
player to touch the puck.
But Kaspars Daugavins scored his third goal at the tournament two minutes into overtime, beating Colorado Avalanche goalie Reto Berra in the Swiss goal to hand Latvia two points.

The result leaves Switzerland in third place in the Group A standings behind Sweden, defeated by first-placed Canada 6-4 after the Swedes were unable to hang on to to a 4-3 lead. 

In Group B played in the eastern Czech city of Ostrava, Russia took a 2-0 lead within 13 minutes with goals by Artemi Panarin and Sergei Mozyakin.

Denmark converted one of their five shots in the second period through Morten Green, but Evgeni Dadonov put Russia two goals ahead once again, just before the second siren.
Thomas Spelling narrowed Russia's lead to a single goal ten minutes before the end.
But the Russians never quite lost control and Mozyakin and St Louis Blues forward Vladimir Tarasenko rounded off the score with two goals within 48 seconds.

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Sweden beat Swiss to win ice hockey world title in shoot-out drama

Sweden retained their world championship title with a dramatic penalty shoot-out victory over plucky Switzerland in Copenhagen on Sunday.

Sweden beat Swiss to win ice hockey world title in shoot-out drama
Swiss players react after the defeat to Sweden. Photo: AFP

Filip Forsberg of the NHL's Nashville Predators scored the winning penalty as Sweden came back from 1-0 down in the shoot-out to win 2-1 following a 2-2 draw after overtime.

Surprise finalists Switzerland had been aiming for their first ever world title, while Sweden claimed an 11th crown.

Sweden had been the only unbeaten team through the group stage while Switzerland scraped into the quarter-finals with the weakest record.

But they stunned Group B winners Finland and then Canada to take their place in a third world championship final.

Five years ago they had lost to Sweden, who beat them 5-3 in the group stages too.

Switzerland twice took the lead, in each of the first two periods, but were pegged back by the favourites before the end of each stanza.

Minnesota Wild's Nino Niederreiter had given them a 16th minute lead but Gustav Nyquist of the Detroit Red Wings equalised a minute later.

On 23 minutes Timo Meier of the San Jose Sharks put the underdogs in front again, but that was wiped out by New York Ranger Mika Zibanejad on 34 minutes.

With no scores in either the third period or overtime, the final was decided by a shoot-out where Switzerland once again took the lead.

But Oliver Ekman-Larsson cancelled out Sven Andrighetto's successful strike, allowing Forsberg to become the hero.

Christopher Kreider of the Rangers scored twice as the United States thumped Canada 4-1 to take the bronze medal.

 After Kreider opened the scoring, Marc-Edouard Vlasic of the Sharks equalised.

But goals from Nashville's Nicholas Bonino and Anders Lee of the New York Islanders put the US in charge before Kreider rounded out the win.