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Latvia stuns Switzerland, moves on to face Canada in the quarterfinals

Matthias Bieber #48 of Switzerland skates off the ice as Team Latvia celebrate defeating Switzerland 3 to 1 in the Men's Ice Hockey Qualification Playoff game on day eleven of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics at Bolshoy Ice Dome on February 18, 2014 in Soch
Matthias Bieber #48 of Switzerland skates off the ice as Team Latvia celebrate defeating Switzerland 3 to 1 in the Men's Ice Hockey Qualification Playoff game on day eleven of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics at Bolshoy Ice Dome on February 18, 2014 in Soch
Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Latvia came within eight seconds of forcing overtime in last week’s preliminary round matchup against Switzerland.

In Tuesday’s game, with the nation’s first-ever birth in the quarterfinals on the line, they were able to exact revenge on their Swiss counterparts.

Latvia got first period tallies from Oskars Bartulis and Lauris Darzins to stake themselves to a surprising two-goal lead over the heavily-favored Swiss.

But, just like the first matchup between the countries, this one was destined to be a nail-biter.

Swiss forward Martin Pluss cut the deficit to one in the second period, and the momentum quickly shifted into the hands of Switzerland.

Latvia proved up to the tall task however, as goaltender Edgars Masalskis was spectacular; casting aside 32 of 33 shots from the Swiss.

Darzins would add an empty-netter in the final minute, and Latvia would hold on for the improbably 3-1 win.

"It’s pretty historic," said Latvian forward Kaspars Daugavins, "The first time ever in quarter-finals in the Olympics. It’s great. It’s something amazing. Not many people believed we can do this, but we proved them wrong."

With the win, Latvia will again play the underdog; as they are now set to face Canada in Wednesday’s quarterfinals.