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Czech Republic, Latvia seek bounce-back wins

Thursday, 13.02.2014 / 8:07 PM / Winnipeg Jets
By John Kreiser  - NHL.com Columnist
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Czech Republic, Latvia seek bounce-back wins
What\'s at stake: Each team is looking to bounce back after losing its opener. The Czechs paid the price for a bad start in a 4-2 loss to Sweden; Latvia was 7.9 seconds from getting to overtime against Switzerland before a bad bounce resulted in the game\'s only goal and a 1-0 loss.\r\n

CZECH REPUBLIC vs. LATVIA

When: Friday, 3 a.m. ET (MSNBC, TSN)

Where: Bolshoy Ice Dome

What's at stake: Each team is looking to bounce back after losing its opener. The Czechs paid the price for a bad start in a 4-2 loss to Sweden; Latvia was 7.9 seconds from getting to overtime against Switzerland before a bad bounce resulted in the game's only goal and a 1-0 loss.

Czech Republic: Coach Alois Hadamczik will undoubtedly stress to his team the necessity of being ready from the opening faceoff. The Czechs found themselves in a four-goal hole 24:07 into their game against the powerful Swedes in their opener, and though they received goals by New Jersey Devils teammates Marek Zidlicky and Jaromir Jagr, it wasn’t enough.

"We were just sitting back too much," said forward Patrik Elias, also of the Devils. "We were passive. We didn't go. We backed off. We talked about being patient without the puck but that's what we did for the whole [first] period. We got in trouble with the penalties, they scored on it. That's simplified but that was the reason."

Don’t be surprised if Hadamczik makes a change in goal. He didn’t dress Ondrej Pavelec of the Winnipeg Jets against Sweden, opting instead to use two KHL goalies; starter Jakub Kovar allowed three goals on 10 shots before being pulled less than a minute into the second period. Alexander Salak surrendered the Swedes' fourth goal on the first shot he faced, though he did stop 14 shots after that. Hadamczik said he was giving Pavelec some extra time to adjust his body clock after coming from 10 time zones away.

Latvia: The Latvians, expected to finish last in Group C, come into this game both pleased and disappointed after a loss to Switzerland in their first game. Latvia goaltender Edgars Masalskis stopped the first 38 shots he faced. But after Latvian forward Lauris Darzins was checked behind the Swiss net and injured on the play, he was slow to get up and there was a delay in replacing him after he got to the bench. With the Swiss essentially playing 5-on-4, a pass by forward Simon Moser of the Nashville Predators hit Latvian defenseman Georgijs Pujacs and slid across the goal line with 7.9 seconds left.

Still, the Latvians were buoyed by their strong showing against one of the up-and-comers in international hockey.

"We got better and better and showed that we can really compete," coach Ted Nolan said. "Unfortunately it's a game of mistakes and we made one when it mattered the most. … One of our players got hit behind the boards. It was a 5-on-4 situation and we still had the puck. If we just would have thrown it in deep maybe we would have been able to kill off the last nine seconds."

What's next: The teams complete their preliminary-round play on Saturday when Latvia faces Sweden and the Czech Republic plays Switzerland.

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

WESTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 ANA 47 31 10 6 139 124 68
2 NSH 45 30 10 5 137 104 65
3 STL 46 29 13 4 148 111 62
4 CHI 47 30 15 2 148 108 62
5 WPG 48 26 14 8 135 117 60
6 SJS 48 25 17 6 131 132 56
7 VAN 45 26 16 3 124 114 55
8 CGY 47 25 19 3 136 125 53
9 LAK 47 20 15 12 129 126 52
10 COL 48 20 18 10 125 137 50
11 DAL 46 21 18 7 144 151 49
12 MIN 46 20 20 6 128 137 46
13 ARI 46 16 25 5 105 156 37
14 EDM 47 12 26 9 109 158 33

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
A. Ladd 48 17 23 11 40
B. Little 48 18 20 11 38
B. Wheeler 48 13 23 12 36
D. Byfuglien 48 12 19 9 31
M. Perreault 45 15 14 3 29
M. Frolik 48 10 16 8 26
M. Scheifele 48 7 19 6 26
E. Kane 33 10 9 4 19
A. Lowry 47 5 8 1 13
J. Trouba 32 4 9 4 13
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
M. Hutchinson 14 4 2 .935 1.90
O. Pavelec 12 10 6 .913 2.47
SOCHI MEN'S HOCKEY STANDINGS
ALL GROUPS
COUNTRY GP W OTW OTL L PTS
SWEDEN
3 3 0 0 0 9
UNITED STATES 3 2 1 0 0 8
CANADA 3 2 1 0 0 8
FINLAND 3 2 0 1 0 7
RUSSIA
3 1 1 1 0 6
SWITZERLAND 3 2 0 0 1 6
CZECH REPUBLIC 3 1 0 0 2 3
SLOVENIA 3 1 0 0 2 3
AUSTRIA
3 1 1 0 2 3
SLOVAKIA 3 0 0 1 2 1
LATVIA 3 0 0 0 3 0
NORWAY 3 0 0 0 3 0

GROUP A
COUNTRY GP W OTW OTL L PTS
USA
3 2 1 0 0 8
RUSSIA 3 1 1 1 0 6
SLOVENIA 3 1 0 0 2 3
SLOVAKIA 3 0 0 1 2 1

GROUP B
COUNTRY GP W OTW OTL L PTS
CANADA 3 2 1 0 0 8
FINLAND 3 2 0 1 0 7
AUSTRIA 3 1 0 0 2 3
NORWAY 3 0 0 0 3 0

GROUP C
COUNTRY GP W OTW OTL L PTS
SWEDEN 3 3 0 0 0 9
SWITZERLAND 3 2 0 0 1 6
CZECH REP. 3 1 0 0 2 3
LATVIA 3 0 0 0 3 0

JETS STATS
NAME GP G A PTS PIM +/-
BLAKE WHEELER USA 6 0 1 1 2 0
OLLI JOKINEN FIN 6 2 2 4 2 3
MICHAEL FROLIK CZE 5 0 0 0 0 0

JETS STATS
NAME GP W L GAA PCT SO
ONDREJ PAVELEC CZE 4 2 2 3.50 .915 0
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