Norway got a heavy start at the Ice Hockey World Cup with a 2-3 loss to Latvia on Saturday.The match was settled during overtime.
Rudolf Balchers became the match winner for Latvia 24 seconds into the extension.
Thus, Norway gained one point, while Latvia got two.
Norway has six World Championship first-timers on the team, but it was not so much the final result, as to see the opening nerve of Petter Thoresen’s crew.
The Norwegians opened well, but Latvia eventually put a lot of pressure in the Norwegian zone. The offensive, however, were punished when veteran, Anders Bastiansen (36) scored,taking it to 1-0 with an effective Norwegian counterattack.
Alexander Bonsaksen was Norway’s top scorer at the Olympic Games. He has suffered injuries in the run-up to the World Championship, but the back line was beaten when he sent Norway 2-0 up with a blistering shot from the blue line.
In another period, the Latvians reduced the lead in a similar contest when Bastiansen scored. Rudolf Balchers, with a past in both Lørenskog and Stavanger Oilers, put the puck over his shoulder on Lars Haugen.
Latvia ruled most of the third period, but the Norwegian team still seemed to have good control over their defensive game. With less than nine minutes left of the match, Rodrigo Abols appeared and made the score 2-2.
Mathis Olimb thought he had made it 3-2, but the puck was never there after the judges had studied the video. The game ended with a decision by sudden death.
Norway has met Latvia in the World Championship nine times. There have been three wins and six losses. Norway, on the other hand, had won the last two meetings in 2012 and 2016.
© NTB scanpix / #Norway Today