Sochi 2014 hockey results: Switzerland's late goal beats Latvia

Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

A goalie duel between Edgar Masalskis and Jonas Hiller ended in a scoreless tie to open the men's tournament.

For nearly 60 minutes, it looked like Ted Nolan's Latvian side might be able to eek out a result against Swtizerland. Behind the strong play from goalie Edgar Masalskis, the Latvians kept the game scoreless, with overtime on the horizon.

But Simon Moser scored with only 7.9 seconds remaining in regulation, and Switzerland won the opening game of the men's tournament over Latvia.

In a titt that saw Switzerland control much of the possession and pace, Masalskis played a strong game in net for Latvia, turning aside 38 of the 39 shots he faced. That included two incredibly strong post-to-post saves on Damien Brunner and Nino Niederreiter in the opening 20 minutes, a frame that saw Switzerland outshoot Latvia 2-0.

Masalskis continued his stellar play in the second, making another strong stop on the rush to deny Brunner, again moving well laterally post-to-post.

Switzerland took advantage of the IIHF-sized rink and used the width of the ice to spread out Latvia all game.

In the end, Latvia would get out-shot 39-21, although it looked like the game might go to overtime and give Latvia a chance to find a golden goal.

But with Switzerland still pushing the pace in the final minute, Moser threw a puck toward the crease from below the icing line. With Niederreiter in front, the puck deflected off Latvian defenseman Georgijs Pujacs, past Masalskis, and in for the decisive tally.

Switzerland's best chance before that may have come in the second period, when it appeared they finally cracked the Latvian goaltender. But after puck crept through under the arm of Masalskis, Arturs Kulda was able to clear it out of the crease and away from danger.

On the opposite end of the night, Jonas Hiller had a strong game in net for the Swiss, facing fewer shots than his counterpart, but turning back the rubber every time he was called upon.

The team's will be back in action Friday when Latvia takes on the Czech Republic, and Switzerland takes on Sweden.

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