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Denmark to Play in Quarterfinals in First Men's Olympic Hockey Tournament

Denmark has made the quarterfinal in its first Olympic men's hockey tournament after beating Latvia 3-2.
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Denmark has made the quarterfinal in its first Olympic men's hockey tournament after beating Latvia 3-2.

Denmark will meet up for a rematch with the Russian Olympic Committee, with Russia winning the round-robin match 2-0 earlier in the tournament.

Latvia will miss the quarterfinal after nearly upsetting Canada in 2014. 

The game was a close back and-and-forth affair, with each team trading goals through the first 42 minutes of play. But drama hit the game at 7:47 when Janins Kalnins, the Latvian starting goalie, was pulled in favor of Ivars Punnenovs for an undisclosed reason.

 Punnenovs proceeded to make a couple of quick saves after going in cold before Morten Poulsen scored at 12:02, banking the puck off the Latvian goaltender from the goal line to make it 1-0. 

But Latvia kept in it, and Lauris Darzins would get a goal at 16:23 off of a breakaway opportunity set up by Renards Krastenbergs to make it 1-1. Darzins would give Latvia the 2-1 lead early in the second. The team moved the puck well on the power play, with Darzins' shot beating Sebastian Dahm cleanly for the go-ahead goal. 

At 16:57 in the middle stanza, Denmark made it 2-2. Julian Jakobsen was the goal-scorer, joining his sister Josefine as Danish Olympic goal scorers in Beijing with a wrist shot to make it 2-2. It gave the Danes some energy late in the period, and a power-play goal at 41:45 turned the game around. Markus Lauridsen, the first Olympic goal-scorer in Danish history, made it 3-2 with his point shot, a goal that would give Denmark an important win heading into the next round.

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