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Finland beats Latvia, Germany beats Slovakia on hockey worlds




TAMPERE, Finland (AP) Host country Finland recovered from fear in the first period, beating Latvia 2-1 for a second win in two games at Saturday’s World Ice Hockey Championships.

Mikael Granlund scored the winner on a power play with 2:52 to go into the final period of the Group B game in Tampere. Rudolfs Balcers gave Latvia a 1-0 lead in the opening period, after which Sakari Manninen equalized via a power play in the middle frame. Manninen added an assist on Granlund’s goal.

Finland, second in last year’s tournament, closed out Norway 5-0 on Friday, while Latvia lost 4-1 to the United States.

Germany bounced back lost to Canada the previous day by beating Slovakia 2-1 in Group A in Helsinki. Matthias Plachta and Leonhard Pfoderl gave the Germans a 2-0 lead and Kristian Pospisil answered with the only Slovakian goal.

In Group B, Sweden had only three lines available in the opener against Austria as the team waited for the results of the NHL playoffs to complete the roster along with players from the Swedish league, whose playoffs did not end until Thursday .

Joel Kellman, Max Friberg and Joakim Nordstrom each contributed a goal to a 3-1 victory against a team that replaced the Russian and Belarus rosters along with France.

In their opener, the Czech Republic passed Great Britain 5-1 in another game in Group B. Matej Blumel led the Czechs with two goals and an assist.

Also in Group A, Joachim Blichfeld scored a hat-trick and Nikolaj Ehlers had three assists for Denmark to start the tournament by destroying Kazakhstan 9-1.

A three-goal lead after the first period, with Jonas Siegenthaler assisting everyone, propelled Switzerland to a 5-2 win over Italy in their opening game in Group A.

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