Two different games

Belarus’ national team hockey players break the series of defeats in matches against Latvian national squad which lasted more than four years, but don’t consolidate the success
By Yegor Glebov

The first game was dictated by the Belarusian squad which made a claim for victory in the match already in the first period after scoring two non-responsive goals. In the second period hockey players of the Belarusian national team increased the gap to three pucks. During the whole match the players of the Latvian squad couldn’t resist Andrey Skabelka’s trainees and the game finished in favour of Belarusians — 3:0.

Compared to the first match, definite changes happened in the squad the next day, enabling young hockey players to perform. Stepan Goryachevskikh was replaced by Dmitry Milchakov while llya Kaznadei replaced Oleg Goroshko in the defensive line. In the first attack line Yevgeny Solomonov entered the ice rink instead of Alexander Kulakov and Alexander Kitarov was replaced by Sergey Drozd. The line-up also included forward Yevgeny Dadonov who hasn’t performed in the previous match either. However, from the middle of the match Kitarov began to appear on his usual position in the centre of the starting line jointly with Drozd and Meleshko.

After the defeat in the first match Latvian hockey players, who haven’t lost to Belarusians since December 2008, rehabilitated in the eyes of their fans and took the revenge. The total balance of matches between the national teams of Belarus and Latvia is still in favour of the Latvians who have won in 15 meetings, suffered 10 defeats and 3 draws (goal difference is 83-66).
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