Latvia looking for a miracle in Olympic hockey tournament

Latvia enters the Olympic hockey tournament as 400/1 underdogs, but head coach Ted Nolan told the Buffalo News he believes in "miracles,", adding "we don’t have a bad team ... we actually have a pretty good team.”

Having never advanced to the quarterfinals at the Olympics, Latvia will be looking to build off a strong qualifying campaign that ensured their spot in Sochi, which came in the form of a four-team tournament with Great Britain, France and Kazakhstan.

“If we go far, it’s definitely a miracle,” 19-year-old top line forward Zemgus Girgensons said. “But tournaments like this, anything can happen. It’s not an 82-game season. Every game we’ve got to think we’re going to win. Maybe we need a little bit of luck. A goalie gets hot.”

Another youngster may be a big factor for Latvia as well, as Nolan may decide to turn to 21-year-old Kristers Gudlevsksis in net (only the second Latvian-born goalie drafted into the NHL), who has posted four shutouts for the AHL's Syracuse Crunch this season. 

Nolan may turn to two-time Olympic goalie Edgar Masalskis, but Gudlevskis went 2-2 in last year’s World Championships, and Nolan said he’s "a goalie on the rise."

Regardless of where Latvia finishes in the standings, one can expect their supporters to be among the loudest in Sochi, as per their international reputation.

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Latvia looking for a miracle in Olympic hockey tournament
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