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Switzerland, Kazakhstan fill final spots for Turin

RIGA, Latvia -- Latvia scored three times in the final five
minutes Sunday to rally past Belarus 5-4 and clinch a spot in next
year's Olympics.
Aleksandrs Semjonovs scored the winner with 2:29 left, capping
the comeback from a 4-2 deficit. The sold-out crowd went into a
frenzy as the final buzzer sounded.
The four-team qualifying event was one of three across Europe
that determined the final berths for the Olympic hockey tournament.
At Kloten, host Switzerland beat Denmark 4-2 to clinch an
Olympic berth with an unbeaten record. At Klagenfurt, Austria,
Andrey Samokhvalov scored to give Kazakhstan a 1-0 win over France
and the final spot in Turin.
Latvia, Switzerland, and Kazakhstan will join the 12-team field
that includes the United States, host Italy, defending champion
Canada, the Czech Republic, Finland, Germany, Russia, Slovakia, and
Sweden.
Semjonovs, who plays second-division hockey in Sweden, shoveled
the puck past goalie Sergei Shabanov just 87 seconds after Janis
Sprukts tied it 4-4.
Latvia's Olympic hopes seemed to be gone when Konstantin Koltsov
scored to make it 4-2 with 11 minutes left.
But Latvia went on a power play when Oleg Khmyl was sent off for
hooking at 13:33. Coach Leonids Beresnevs then made the move of the
game, pulling goalie Edgars Masalskis 27 seconds later to give the
Latvians a 6-on-4 skating advantage.
Armands Berzins cut the deficit to one goal at 15:11, and
Sprukts tied it at 16:58.