INNSBRUCK, Austria -- It was down to a one-goal game and the fans were cheering "Latvia, Latvia, Latvia."
An upset was in the offing in Canada's opening game at the World Hockey Championship.
Nine minutes into the third period, Canada's three-goal lead over Latvia had shrunk to one and the two-time defending world champions looked a little on the ropes. They had lost the momentum and they knew it.
Brendan Morrison opened the scoring at 2:55 of the first on a power play when he moved in from the left point and ripped a slap shot to the top corner. The lead lasted less than a minute as only 34 seconds later, a turnover in Canada's zone allowed Latvia to tie it.
Nash then caused the turnover that let Simon Gagne set up Joe Thornton for a power play goal 7:49 into the second frame. Latvia tied it just over three minutes later and then Nash and Patrick Marleau scored at 15:32 and 16:50 respectively for what should have been a comfortable three goal cushion.
Morrison took a charging penalty at 5:40 of the third and Janis Sprunkts scored at 6:16. Nash followed with an elbowing penalty at 6:54 and six seconds after he returned to the ice, it was a one-goal game with penalty of time to get the equalizer thanks to a goal by Karlis Skrastins. Truth be known, the Canadian defence coughed the puck up in their own zone after they had a couple of chances to clear it and that led to the goals more so than the penalty by Nash.
Team Canada responded with a hard effort for the remainder of the game and Brodeur made key saves to keep the Latvians from issuing a postage stamp commemorating the event. Nash then completed the hat trick at 14:17 to give Canada breathing room.
-Referenced from www.sportsnet.ca (complete article written by Alan Adams)