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Latvia to quarterfinals after small victory over Norway

Latvia has become the first team to win one of the playoff matches. By beating Norway 6-4, the team moves up to the quarterfinals, in which it meets Switzerland.

Latvia lost all of its group games – 2-14 against the Czech Republic, 7-5 against Slovakia and 16-1 against Sweden – and had to play the playoffs as final possibility to reach the quarterfinals. Starting on the other side of the game schedule, Norway won all of its games so far: 4-7 against Estonia, 4-5 against Denmark and 2-1 against Japan.

Playoff game

Halfway the first period, at 13.30, Latvia’s Julija Rozite opened the score. Norway turned it around within minutes however, when Hildegun Holm and Rikke Hansen scored. In the second period, Simona Grapena equalized, but again, Norway took the lead (through an own goal).

Hat-trick

Grapena equalized again and before the second intermission started, Latvia had taken a 4-3 lead through Elizabete Pavlovska. In the first two minutes of the final part, Grapena completed her hat-trick and Laura Gaugere found the net too, which made the score 6-3 in Latvia’s favor.

(Article continues below photo)

Hat-trick hero Simona Grapena (#41, Latvia) (Photo: Fabian Trees/www.imagepower.ch)

Rikke Hansen scored her second goal (6-4), but that was all Norway could bring.

Upcoming games

Latvia now moves up to the quarterfinal game against Switzerland, tomorrow at 19.00 CET, while Norway fights for 9-12th place, starting off tomorrow 15.00 CET with a game against the loser of Poland – Australia.

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