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Czechs beat Latvia to stay top of group at ice hockey world championships

Photo: TASS.
Czech Republic, seeking their first ice hockey world title since 2010, maintained their lead in Group A of the world championships with a 4-3 shootout win over Latvia on Saturday.

Montreal Canadiens center Tomas Plekanec scored twice in the first period to give the Czechs a comfortable 2-0 lead, but Latvia never gave up and levelled with goals by Roberts Bukarts and Buffalo Sabres center Zemgus Girgensons.

Mikelis Redlihs put Latvia into the lead with just over two minutes left, but Michal Repic levelled at 3-3 just 59 sec before the end of the third period.

After a goalless overtime, Czech Lukas Kaspar scored his shootout attempt while the Latvians failed to find the net at all.

"There are no weak teams in our group," Czech forward David Pastrnak said.

"Latvia got two points in two games against Sweden and us and it's obviously gonna be tough for any team to advance into play-offs.

"It means that now every point matters and we're very happy we've got the second win here." 

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