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Latvia stuns USA in overtime to win bronze at Worlds

Eurasia Sport Images / Getty Images Sport / Getty

Latvia shocked the United States 4-3 in overtime in Sunday's bronze medal game at the IIHF World Championships.

Kristians Rubins fired home the game-winning goal 1:22 into the extra frame to capture Latvia's first medal at an elite-level IIHF event.

The former Toronto Maple Leafs defenseman also tied the contest with 5:39 remaining in the third period.

"When they put the medal around your neck, you can't describe the emotions," Rubins said, according to's Aaron Vickers. "You want to cry. You want to laugh. You want to smile. It's insane."

After dropping its opening two contests of the tournament against Canada and Slovakia, Latvia won six consecutive games before losing to Canada in the semifinals.

Latvia got on the board first Sunday with a goal from Roberts Bukarts, only to be answered less than two minutes later by USA's Rocco Grimaldi. Janis Jaks put Latvia up 2-1 before Grimaldi scored his second goal with 57 seconds remaining in the first frame.

After a goalless second period, Matt Coronato gave the Americans their first lead of the clash just 6:19 into the third. Then came Rubins' heroics.

The 25-year-old blue-liner joined Latvia after being eliminated in the Calder Cup Playoffs with the Calgary Wranglers. He had just two goals at the Worlds in 21 career contests over four tournaments, and he scored only three goals in 51 AHL games this season.

Vancouver Canucks prospect Arturs Silovs made 26 saves in the victory.

Canada faces Germany in the gold-medal game at 1:20 p.m. ET.

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