Latvia beat Norway to keep quarter-final hopes alive

Sun May 11, 2008 2:33pm EDT
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By Steve Keating

HALIFAX, Nova Scotia (Reuters) - Latvia thumped Norway 4-1 at the ice hockey world championships on Sunday to keep alive their hopes of a place in the quarter-finals.

Facing a must-win situation, Martin Cipulis, Herberts Vasiljevs, Mikelis Redlihs and Lauris Darzins all found the net as the Latvians doubled their offensive production for the entire tournament with the four-goal burst.

Netminder Edgars Masalskis, who was bombarded by 64 shots in Latvia's previous game against Finland, enjoyed a relatively quiet day at the office in comparison handling just 23 chances, surrendering only a first period goal to Lars Erik Spets.

With one game remaining in qualification round play, Norway continue to cling to fourth place in the Group F standings with four points followed by Latvia on three.

Norway plays the U.S. in its final game on Monday while Latvia will face-off against Germany.

The Norwegians can clinch a spot in the final eight with a win over the U.S. but a loss combined with a Latvia win would end their tournament.

(Editing by Miles Evans)

<p>Canada's Eric Staal (front) celebrates his first period goal as Germany's Sebastian Osterloh skates away during their game at the 2008 IIHF World Hockey Championships in Halifax, May 10, 2008. REUTERS/Paul Darrow</p>