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Riga ''Dinamo'' crush Minsk ''Dynamo'' to take 1-0 series lead in Hope Cup

 RIGA, March 7 - On Wednesday, Latvian ice hockey club Riga ''Dinamo'' kicked off its Kontinental Ice Hockey League (KHL) Hope Cup semifinal series against Belarus ice hockey club Minsk ''Dynamo'' with a 7:2 win.

With this win, Riga ''Dinamo'' takes a 1-0 lead in the best-of-five series.

Juris Upitis scored two goals for the Latvian club, with Roberts Bukarts, Arvids Rekis, Oskars Cibulskis, Martins Karsums and Gints Meija adding a goal a piece. Meanwhile, Geoff Platt and Kim Hirschovits scored the goals for Minsk.

The second game of the series will be played tonight at ''Arena Riga''. The match will kick off at 7:30 p.m. and will be broadcast live on TV6.

As reported, Riga ''Dinamo'' defeated Russian ice hockey club Nizhny Novgorod ''Torpedo'' on aggregate in the qualification round of the Hope Cup to advance to the quarterfinals, and then defeated Ukrainian ice hockey club Donetsk ''Donbass'' three games to two to advance to the semifinals.

LETA also reported, Riga ''Dinamo'' finished the KHL's regular season in 14th place in the Western Conference and did not qualify for the KHL playoffs.

This is the first time in team history ''Dinamo'' did not qualify for the KHL playoffs.

The ten KHL teams that did not qualify for the playoffs are now competing in a special post-season tournament called the Hope Cup.

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