Czech Republic hold off Latvia 4-2 in Sochi

Latvia's Zemgus Girgensons (C) is tripped up by Czech Republic's Marek Zidlicky (L) and Martin...

Latvia's Zemgus Girgensons (C) is tripped up by Czech Republic's Marek Zidlicky (L) and Martin Hanzal during the third period of their men's preliminary round ice hockey game at the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympic Games February 14, 2014. (REUTERS)

REUTERS

, Last Updated: 6:08 AM ET

The Czech Republic defeated Latvia 4-2 in the men's ice hockey tournament at the Sochi Games on Friday to restore their hopes of earning top spot in their group ahead of the quarter-finals.

Jakub Voracek's go-ahead goal near the midway mark of the second period, when he reached his stick out with one hand to redirect a shot from Zbynek Michalek into the Latvia net, held up as the game winner.

The win was the first of the three-game preliminary round for a Czech team looking to return to the Olympic podium for the first time since winning the bronze medal at the 2006 Games.

Both teams conclude Group C play on Saturday with the Czechs facing Switzerland and Latvia playing Sweden.


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