Irbe praises the young Latvian hockey goalkeepers


“I’m just happy that the times have changed when it was said who will be in goal when Irbe stops playing when [Edgars] Masalskis will stop playing when the next one stops playing, but there won’t be an empty spot,” said Irbe on Monday after the national team’s training at the World Championship in the Czech Republic. “We have growing goalkeepers, there will be even more good goalkeepers, cool young goalkeepers are growing.”

As the long-time goalkeeper of the Latvian national team and National Hockey League (NHL) clubs said, the Latvian goalie school will not die and the competition will only increase.

Currently, the national team also has very strong goalkeepers, each of whom does their job perfectly, and their qualities should not be doubted, added Irbe.

“Basically, my job is to give the head coach a headache,” Irbe explained, noting that his job is to prepare two or three good goaltenders, and then let the head coach get a headache.

Irbe has not yet revealed who will be in goal against Kazakhstan on Tuesday, adding that all three goalkeepers (Elvi Merzlikin, Krister Gudlevsky and Erik Vitols) are fine and “there is no need to worry about the plan”.

The bronze medalist of last year’s world championship, the Latvian national team started this year’s world championship in the Czech Republic with two victories in extra time – 5:4 against Poland and 3:2 against France.

Next, on May 14, the Latvian national team will meet Kazakhstan, which started the championship with a 3:1 victory over France on Saturday, but lost to Slovakia 2:6 on Sunday. Then on May 15, they will have to play against Germany, on May 18 – against Sweden, on May 19 – against Slovakia, and in the final group game on May 21, the Latvians will play against the USA hockey players, whom they beat last year in the fight for bronze medals.

This year, the world championship will take place in the Czech cities of Prague and Ostrava from May 10 to 26.

The article is in Latvian


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