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Richard’s two assists pace Swiss to opening-match victory

by Peter Pupello / Tampa Bay Lightning

With the Tampa Bay Lightning’s Russian prospects out of action on Thursday, Bolts forward hopeful Tanner Richard marked the score sheet with a pair of assists to help lead Team Switzerland to a 7-2 opening-match victory over Latvia.

Although Latvia got on the board first with a power-play goal just 2:45 into the game, the Swiss remained composed and waited for their chances, of which they took full advantage.

They tied the game at 14:14 during a 4-on-4 situation and then went ahead on a nice passing play as Richard spotted teammate Mike Künzle at the top of the crease, who buried one to go up a goal.

Richard also won seven of nine faceoffs and recorded one shot on goal during the contest.

When Lukas Balmelli made it 3-1 for Switzerland early in the second, it seemed that might be enough, but Latvia proved more resilient than the score might have suggested. Arturs Sevcenko drew the Latvians to within one again when he scored on a partial breakaway.

It would be all they could muster, as the Swiss went on to score four more times throughout regulation.

Both sets of Lightning prospects, from Team Russia and Team Switzerland, are back in action on Friday.

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