Russia lashes Latvia to advance
MINSK, Belarus -- Russia secured a quarterfinals berth at the ice hockey world championship with a 4-1 win over Latvia on Saturday to remain unbeaten.
Russia outshot Latvia 43-15 in its fifth straight win. It leads Group B, with still two games to go, by six points from Latvia and Belarus.
Also, Denmark upset the Czech Republic 4-3 in a penalty shootout, France prevailed in another penalty shootout to edge Norway 5-4, and host Belarus rallied to beat Germany 5-2.
Forward Viktor Tikhonov starred for Russia with two first-period goals and an assist.
He tied it at 1 with a wrist shot, and scored on a power play to make it 3-1 with his sixth goal of the tournament.
"We conceded a goal but then we showed our character and replied," Tikhonov said. "We have to play for 100 percent the whole game."
"The best thing is that we keep winning," Kalinin said.
Mikkel Boedker netted a backhand in the penalty shootout to give Denmark its first victory over the Czech Republic at the worlds.
"We stayed in the game. We stayed the course," Boedker said. "We kept battling and we got two late goals."
Stephane Da Costa scored the winning penalty in the shootout to lift France over Norway.
The Czechs are tied for third with France and Norway in the eight-team Group A. Defending champion Sweden tops the group ahead of Canada.
Antoine Roussel scored twice and Yorick Treille had one goal in a 51-second span in the second to lead France's comeback, after Norway took a 2-0 lead with goals from Mats Trygg and Morten Ask.
Mikhail Grabovski completed the comeback for Belarus against Germany with two goals in the third to thrill the sold-out Minsk Arena.
Kai Hospelt and Alexander Barta gave the Germans a 2-0 first-period lead.
Later Saturday, Slovakia played Italy in Group A while Switzerland met Kazakhstan in Group B.
Copyright 2014 by The Associated Press
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