Canada vs Latvia Pick-Odds-Prediction - 2/19/14
Latvia (1-3-0) vs Canada (3-0-0)
Olympic Hockey: Wednesday, February 19, 2014 (Sochi, Russia)
Canada -3.5 See the Latest Odds
The Latvians look to continue their underdog run with a shot at the semi-finals as they take on the heavily favoured Canadians in the quarters on Wednesday.
Latvia has established itself as an international hockey also ran – a team that reigns supreme in qualifying matchups against countries who never seem to appear on the international stage – but never seem to challenge the top teams for supremacy. Until now. The Latvians dropped three straight games in the round robin but were very competitive in a losing effort on all occasions and exorcised their demons yesterday by upending the Swiss, a consensus dark horse in this tournament, in the qualification round. The Latvians have just one NHL player on their roster but they have shown a very tight team game and are very tough to play against and yesterday’s win over Switzerland was as good as winning a gold medal to them as expectations coming in surely weren’t very high. However, their reward for upending the Swiss is a date with the gold medal favourites from Canada in a contest they will be very badly outmatched on paper but will certainly be playing their top hockey in an effort to advance.
Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Spor
The Canadians head into Wednesday’s quarterfinals as the third seed after the round robin by virtue of winning their pool and as such had the day off yesterday, something they didn’t have in Vancouver where they ultimately claimed gold. There is no question that the Canadians are stacked in every facet of the game yet because they haven’t really run away with the tournament thus far they are being heavily scrutinized. Nonetheless, Canada has the best team on paper in the tournament and they have to lose a game so far with their forwards being very quiet. It is only a matter of time before their onslaught of world class talent erupts and shows the rest of the field they‘re the team to beat and I think they do so in this spot. Canada Is four goal favourites here and while the story of Latvia has been nice it comes to an abrupt end here as the Canadians cruise into the semi-finals.