Switzerland's Joel Vermin (L), Cedric Hachler (2), Tanner Richard and Christoph Bertschy celebrate a goal during the second period of play against Sweden at the 2012 IIHF U20 World Junior Hockey Championship in Calgary, Alberta, December 28, 2011. (Photo : (STRINGER/CANADA /REUTERS))
Latvia's tournament got off to a woeful start on Wednesday as the squad lost 5-1 to Finland.
Latvia played well against the Finnish and held them to a 1-1 drawn until halfway through the first period. The team then fell apart with three goals against in the third period. They gave up two more goals in the second and were able to shutdown Finland in the third period. The lone Latvian goal came from Nikolajs Jelisejevs and was assisted by Arturs Zumenkovs and Patriks Skuratovs.
They will have a chance to redeem themselves against Switzerland on Thursday morning. Last year the Swiss failed in the group stage with just one win in four matches. Their lone win last year was a 5-3 defeat of Latvia and they will look to repeat that feat as they have to deal with Finland, Sweden, and the Czech Republic as well. In the relegation stage the Swiss mounted a solid record of one regulations win, one overtime win, and one loss to gain second place in the group and avoid relegation. Their loss in that stage was a solid 2-1 defeat at the hands of the supposed powerhouse United States.
Prediction: Switzerland should win, but they are not a vastly superior squad. 5-4 Switzerland.
Start Time: 7 AM EST