What is hockey and why do I love it so much? My first memories about hockey come from 1996, when I was 4 years old. All family had gathered around the TV and there was a news story or a commercial about a hockey game which would be broadcasted. There was talk about some Latvian player and a cup, and that everyone, of course, will watch that game. I thought - if everyone will watch that game, then count me in. Well, of course, I was forbidden to do that, because normal kids sleep at night. But the next morning I was told that Latvian player who played in that game has won the cup. I probably didn’t have an opinion about that, I was 4 years old.
That was the 4th game in 1995-96 Stanley Cup final series, where Avalanche with Sandis Ozoliņš played against Panthers. The series ended 4-0 and Sandis Ozoliņš was first Latvian player who had won Stanley Cup. I hope that Sandis Ozoliņš isn’t the last Latvian player who wins Stanley Cup and I will experience many more Stanley Cup champions.
Did my love for hockey start there? I don’t think so, because my true love is national team of Latvia. It’s hard to remember when I saw the first game, because a lot of them were recorded on VHS and I could watch those games over and over again. I remember two of recorded games, one was in 1997 World Championship against team USA, game ended 4:5, but Latvia was leading 4:1 for some time, and the other game was against France 6:2. Aleksandrs Kerčs, Aleksandrs Beļavskis, Sergejs Žoltoks, Artūrs Irbe, just how can you not love hockey?
My love for hockey statistics could be found in the fact that every year there was an annual hockey edition newspaper about World Championship. Those newspapers included a tournament table, where you could fill cells with the game results and count points to reveal the situation. My first hockey edition newspaper of that kind was in 2002 or maybe before that. I filled it all from first to last game for every team. Since then, I got interested in past World Championships game results and I started to search them, and when I found one, I wrote it down in my notebook. I got nostalgic while writing this and I have now restored that table with all games played by national team of Latvia since 1992.
It seems, that I come just in time, because Latvia has played 399 games since 1992 (till the end of 2014), in this time span, Latvia has won 200 games, lost in 172 games and tied in 28 games. Latvians have scored 1 403 times and allowed 1 082 goals. The 200th win was against Denmark in 6th November 2014, game ended 4:1. For full game results and statistics see related post - All game results of Latvia men's national ice hockey team since 1992.
National team of Latvia is my favorite team. Of course, there have been ups and downs, but there also were a lot of unforgettable moments and I’m proud that I was a part of that. This was a brief story about my passion for hockey, of course this story could be longer or could be better, but writing a book isn’t in my plans.
Read the related post - All game results of Latvia men's national ice hockey team since 1992
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