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Latvia and Norway win final preliminary games

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Latvia and Norway have both moved into the qualifying round at the Ice Hockey World Championship in Switzerland.

This content was published on April 29, 2009 - 20:10

Wednesday's win for 12th-ranked Latvia against Austria propels them into the final 12 teams at the world tournament. For Austria, it means a trip to the relegation round.

Martins Cipulis and Guntins Dzerins scored for Latvia and goalie Edgars Masalskis earned the shutout. He faced 21 shots compared with 37 that Latvia put on the Austrian net.

It was the third game in a row that Thomas Vanek of Austria, a player for the National Hockey League's Buffalo Sabres, did not score.

Latvia, which played all three preliminary games in Bern, the Swiss capital, must wait for Wednesday evening's game between the United States and Sweden to find out whether they finish second or third in Group C.

If they finish second, they play Russia on Thursday. If they finish third, they play Switzerland.

Norway moves on

In Zurich, Tommy Jakobsen scored in the second minute of overtime, giving tenth-ranked Norway a 5-4 victory over Denmark.

It was the third major game between the Nordic countries in the past seven years.

Denmark scored first, just under five minutes into the first period, followed quickly by Patrick Thorensen of Norway.

The teams exchanged goals throughout the game and were tied until early into the third period when Mats Zuccarella Aasen beat Denmark's Patrick Galbraith to take the lead for good.

Norway will next play Belarus in the qualifying round on Thursday and Denmark face Germany on Friday in the relegation round.

swissinfo with agencies

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