Saturday, December 20th, 2014

Austria vs Latvia Preview and Betting Odds

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Latvia will meet Austria at the Steel Arena in Kosice in a relegation-round game at the IIHF World Hockey Championships on May 8th. This is a huge game for both teams as the relegation group (Group G) sees all four teams, Slovenia, Belarus, Austria, and Latvia, tied with three points. This will be the third relegation game for each team.

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Latvia lost 5-2 to Slovenia their first one and then surprised Belarus 6-3 on May 7th. Latvia built a 3-0 first period lead and Belarus cut it to 3-2. However, the Latvians scored three straight to go up 6-2 before Belarus added one more. Belarus outshot the Latvians 39-31.

Belarus beat Austria 7-2 in their first relegation game and they then upset Slovenia 3-2. They were trailing ahead of Slovenia 2-0, but the Slovenians tied the game at 2-2 in the second period before Austria scored the winner early in the third. Austria outshot Slovenia 37-33.

Austria is ranked 14th and Slovenia is ranked 19th, so it didn’t come as too much of a shock that these two teams ended up in the relegation round. However, they each upset stronger teams in the relegation round and now have a chance to avoid being sent down.

Predictions

This will be another close and competitive game, but I think Slovenia is a little stronger even though they’re ranked lower. Look for the Slovenians to take a one or two goal decision.

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