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Darzins then scored on a sharp-angled shot on the power play 2:41 later, and Switzerland faced its first two-goal deficit of the tournament.

Switzerland opened up its attack in the second period, but Masalskis was both solid and spectacular on a glove save against Andres Ambuhl. Hiller was equally sharp for Switzerland, turning away a handful of point-blank chances.

The Swiss finally connected for their third goal of the Olympics late in the second period, with Pluss converting a one-timer from Reto Suri.

Players on both teams’ benches stood to watch much of the third period. Suri had an unobstructed chance with 2:12 left, but put it straight into Masalskis’ midsection.

“Today’s game just shows how close world hockey is,” Switzerland coach Sean Simpson said. “Latvia played an outstanding game. They fought for every meter on the ice.”