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Cibulskis: “Guards need to get the puck out of the area faster


“It was a difficult game. The Kazakhs put a lot of pressure, and the defenders would have to get the puck out of the area sooner – we didn’t do that,” Oskar Cibulsky said. One of the most experienced national team defenders also highlighted the fact that this was only the first game for the opponents, so it was easier to press. “We fought. We were able to get two points in the end, but that’s the way it is.” Yesterday’s bright victory over Canada gave back a lot of emotion, and Cibulskis did not deny that the reserves of strength against the background of the opponents were empty tonight, but did not look for excuses:

Uvis Balinskis agreed with the team member: “They knew we had played yesterday, and they definitely used it as an advantage.” In both previous matches Latvians could not complain much about the realization of moments, but the number of throws made at the goal was quite low – 17 shots were taken at the Canadian goal yesterday, but in the game against Kazakhstan, only 14 shots were recorded in the goal frame by the Latvian national team.

Oskars Cibulskis said that the defenders should probably be more involved in the attack, as well as, of course, the control of the puck is important: “You have to try to hold the puck more, maybe get more shots from above.” Matīss Kivlenieks handled 29 of 32 shots in the Latvian national team, and Balinskis praised his team’s goalkeeper: “He played well and helped us. I can’t say anything bad.”

This was only the third game for the Latvian national team with Kivleniekis in the goal, including a test match against Switzerland. Uvis Balinskis revealed that the work on building mutual understanding between the guards and the goalkeeper had already started in time. “We also work in training to use goalkeepers, we talk to him – we have an understanding. Maybe sometimes there are small mistakes and misunderstandings, but we talk and understand what needs to be done.”

Having two games in two days, Latvians have a more grateful calendar ahead of them – one holiday until the match with Italy, then two until the game against the USA. However, Cibulskis admits that the calendar is not upside down: “I know what we have every next game against. We are preparing for each game, every day is an important process to get victories. We are also preparing to win the next game on holiday. “

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