National hockey team gets first-ever victory over Latvia

The Estonian men's national ice hockey team started the Baltic Cup tournament with a 5:2 (0:0, 3:0, 2:2) victory over Latvia, which is Estonia's first ever defeat of the southern neighbors.

Estonia took the lead in the sixth minute of the second period after a goal from KHL winger Robert Rooba. Vadim Vasjonkin extended Estonia's lead five minutes later and Kristjan Kombe scored Estonia's third a minute before the period ended.

Christopher Usov scored Estonia's fourth five minutes into the third period, after which Kristaps Rokis put Latvia on the board. Ricards Grinbergs added another three and a half minutes later, but Estonia clinged onto a 4:2 lead and Kevin Parras scored into an empty net to clinch a three-goal victory.

Estonian goalkeeper Villem-Henrik Koitmaa said the team is very happy to notch the national team's first-ever victory over Latvia. "Hitting the ice in the morning, we felt like this could happen. We drew quite a bit of motivation from Kontaveit's victory [on Wednesday] and everything went how it was supposed to," Koitmaa said.

"We took a very important victory. Although the importance of this tournament has grown in years, it is still a preparation tournament for the world championships. A home win over Latvia is definitely something to remember," the goalkeeper added.

This was Estonia's first game in front of a home crowd in two years and is set to play Lithuania on Friday and Poland on Saturday. All games are played at the Tondiraba Ice Hall in Tallinn.


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Editor: Kristjan Kallaste

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