Czech Republic beats Latvia

The Sports NetworkFebruary 14, 2014 

Sochi, Russia (SportsNetwork.com) - Jaromir Jagr and Marek Zidlicky both scored for the second straight game, as the Czech Republic recorded its first win at the Sochi Olympics with a 4-2 decision over Latvia at the Bolshoy Ice Dome.

Jakub Voracek broke a 2-2 tie just over seven minutes into the second period and Martin Erat opened the scoring in the first for the Czech Republic, which was coming off a 4-2 loss to Sweden in Wednesday's opener.

Ondrej Pavelec posted 18 saves to help the Czechs improve to 1-1 in Group C play.

Janis Sprukts and Herberts Vasiljevs scored for Latvia, which received 35 saves from goaltender Edgars Masalskis.

Latvia fell to 0-2 in Sochi after dropping a 1-0 decision Wednesday against Switzerland, which scored the game's only goal inside of 10 seconds remaining.

Erat ripped a shot through Masalskis' five-hole from the high slot 10:10 into the game to get the Czech Republic on the board, but Sprukts answered with a one-timer from the low left side to tie the score.

Sprukts' shot hit the camera in the back of the net and play continued as the disc shot back out into play. However, at the next stoppage, the referees reviewed the shot and credited Sprukts with the marker.

After Latvia's Mikelis Redlihs went off for a high-sticking double-minor at 18:36, Jagr picked up a blocked shot just inside the right circle and rifled the disc high into the far side corner for a 2-1 lead with 30.1 seconds left in the period.

Vasiljevs picked up a loose puck near the right circle and fired a quick shot off the far side post and in to make it 2-2 at 2:45 of the second stanza, but Voracek got his stick on Zbynek Michalek's blast from the high slot and tipped the puck past Masalskis for a 3-2 lead at 7:06.

Zidlicky backhanded a rebound home from the low right side with 2:58 left in the second to give the Czech Republic a 4-2 lead.

Latvia was unable to cut into the margin in the third, despite having a 5-on-3 power play late.

Both teams will be back in action Saturday, when the Czech Republic takes on Switzerland and Latvia faces off with Sweden in Group C play.

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