The hockey team of Latvia at the World Championship in Bratislava, the capital of Slovakia, is assisted by keeper Elvis Merzhikin, who has participated in the National Hockey League (NHL) club Columbus Blue Jackets in the Stanley Cup so far.
The World Championship starts on Friday, while the Latvian national championship is scheduled for Saturday (starting at 5.15 p.m.) against Austrian hockey players. In this competition, gate security is entrusted to Gudlevsky.
The Latvian team took 6 games during the preparation, 2 of them won the victory. Gudļevskis guarded the goal in 4 games, but Gustavs Dāvis Grigals took over in 2 games.
Gudļevskis helped Latvia defeat France and Russia in match games, while Grigals continued to score in games against Switzerland and France when they lost 0: 2.
At the moment, the 26-year-old Gudļevskis scored an average of 2.37 on the Continental Ice Hockey League (KHL) regular match in the 31 games of Dinamo and repelled 91.0% of the opponents.
Meanwhile, 20-year-old Grigal played in the "Nanooks" hockey team of the National College Sports Association (NCAA) Alaska-Fairbanks University, earning an average of 3.33 pips in 14 games and repelling 90.0% of opponents.
Currently, 25-year-old Merzhikin scored an average of 2.44 goals and 43.1% of his opponents in 43 games in the 43rd season of the regular "Lugano" team of the Swiss top hockey league.
After the season, Zillichin joined the "Blue Jackets" team in Switzerland by signing a contract until the end of the season. The Latvian goalkeeper is expected to sign a new contract and will make his debut in the NHL next season.
The 27-year-old goalkeeper Jānis Auziņš is also present at the Latvian hockey team, which represented the "Prizma" hockey club in this season's "Optibet" hockey league.
Three keepers can register for the World Cup. So Grigals of Auziņš will soon be deducted from the candidates.
The Latvian head coach Hartley will compete for the tournament on Wednesday after a public training in the Ice Arena in the "Akropole" shopping and entertainment center (from 10:45 am).
Last year at the World Championship in Latvia, the team consisted of Merzhikin, Gudlevsky and Matiss Edmund Kivlenieks, who cannot join the national team this year because he is a busy "Blue Jacekts" in the Cleveland "Monsters", the exclusion tournament of the American Hockey League (AHL).
Last year, the World Championship was defended by the Latvian team in 8 games by Merzliks (1.50 lost gates and 94.0% dropped litters), while 2 games were played by Gudļevskis (4.97 and 83.9%).