Just call him Mister Overtime
by Andrew PODNIEKS|13 MAY 2024
photo: © International Ice Hockey Federation / Matt Zambonin
Not Jagr. Not Crosby. Not Forsberg or Selanne. No one in IIHF Men’s World Championship history has scored more goals in overtime than Latvia’s captain, Kaspars Daugavins. His two OT goals in consecutive games this year, combined with two other consecutive goals in 2015, give him four career game winners in the short extra period. Pretty incredible. 

What's also incredible is that Latvia has only eight OT goals since returning to the WM as an independent nation in 1993, and Daugavins has half that total. The only other players with multiple OT goals at the Men's Worlds are Peter Regin of Denmark; another Latvian, Rudolfs Balcers; and, Finn Sakari Manninen, all of whom have two.

Here is a quick look back at those special moments of Daugavins's which, combined, form a record accomplishment.

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Overtime Goal #1

May 6, 2015
Latvia 2-Switzerland 1 (Daugavins 2:19 OT)

Lauris Darzins and Daugavins teamed up in overtime to give Latvia their first crucial two points in the standings, while goalie Edgars Masalskis was sensational in stopping 35 of 36 Swiss shots. After a scoreless first period, Darzins scored in the second, and it looked like the goal would hold up. But Matthias Bieber tied it with less than two minutes left, forcing overtime. Darzins and Daugavins then connected midway through the short fourth period.

Quotable: "It was a turnover on their part," said Daugavins. "I wanted to cut into the middle and shoot, but I saw Darzins behind me. Both defencemen kind of went to me at first, and then he made an unbelievable pass back to me. I had an empty net."

Overtime Goal #2

May 9, 2015
Latvia 2-Austria 1 (Daugavins 0:33 OT)

Three days later, the tandem of Darzins and Daugavins was again key to this win. Austria got the only goal of the first, but Darzins, on a Daugavins assist, tied the score in the second. No scoring in the third pushed the game to OT, where Daugavins worked his magic, giving Latvia a critical two points in the standings. In the end, Austria was demoted and Latvia stayed up, thanks in large part to this victory.

Quotable: "It was just a great play by 'Darzy' again,” Daugavins enthused. “I just had to close my eyes and shoot."

Overtime Goal #3

May 11, 2024
Latvia 5-Poland 4 (Daugavins 3:29 OT)

In a wild and thrilling return to the top level after 22 years, Poland produced a tremendous performance that pushed Latvia to the limit. Poland led 1-0, 2-1, and 3-2, and when they trailed, 4-3, they rallied to tie and send the game to overtime, earning a critical point in the standings along the way. But Daugavins became the first WM player to score three OT goals when he fired the winner in this game.

Quotable: “The Poles played a great game and were aggressive, but we were expecting a close game,” Daugavins noted. “Rodrigo gave me a good pass and I was lucky enough to put it in.”

Overtime Goal #4

May 12, 2024
Latvia 3-France 2 (Daugavins 4:59 OT)

France scored late in the first, and the goal held up until early in the third. Latvia scored twice to take control, but then Pierre-Eduard Bellemare scored late to make it 2-2 and send the game to overtime. As time wound down in the five-minute three-on-three, Daugavins got the puck in good scoring position. The only question was whether he had time to score. 

Quotable: “Thank God there was an extra second on the clock because I didn’t know how much time was left," he recounted. "I made a move and put it in. Thank God it counted!”