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Sabres coach Nolan, rookie Girgensons lead Latvia

by Staff

Buffalo Sabres rookie Zemgus Girgensons is the only current NHL player on Latvia's 25-man roster for the 2014 Sochi Olympics, which was announced Tuesday, but there are others with recent NHL experience.

Girgensons will be coached in Sochi by Sabres interim coach Ted Nolan. This will be Latvia's fourth straight Olympic tournament and fifth in the country's history. The Latvians never have finished higher than ninth.

Eight of the players on the roster are teammates with Dinamo Riga, a Latvian-based team currently fourth in the Western Conference of the Kontinental Hockey League. Among them is former NHL defenseman Sandis Ozolinsh, who played for Latvia in the 2002 and 2006 Olympics but not four years ago in Vancouver.

Other recent NHL players include defenseman Oskars Bartulis and forward Kaspars Daugavins. Defenseman Ralfs Freibergs currently plays NCAA hockey at Bowling Green.

Here is the 25-man roster for Latvia, which is in Group C with Sweden, Switzerland and the Czech Republic:

Goaltenders: Kristers Gudlevskis, Syracuse Crunch (AHL); Edgars Masalskis, free agent; Ervins Mustukovs, Esbjerg IK (DEN)

Defensemen: Oskars Bartulis, Donbass Donetsk (KHL); Ralfs Freibergs, Bowling Green State University (NCAA); Arturs Kulda, Salavat Yulayev Ufa (KHL); Sandis Ozolinsh, Dinamo Riga (KHL); Georgijs Pujacs, Dinamo Riga (KHL); Krisjanis Redlihs, Dinamo Riga (KHL); Arvids Rekis, Dinamo Riga (KHL); Kristaps Sotnieks, Dinamo Riga (KHL)

Forwards: Armands Berzins, Beibarys Atyrau (KAZ); Martins Cipulis, Dinamo Riga (KHL); Lauris Darzins, free agent; Kaspars Daugavins, Genève-Servette HC (SUI); Zemgus Girgensons, Bufalo Sabres; Miks Indrasis, Dinamo Riga (KHL); Koba Jass, Bili Tygri Liberec (CZE); Martins Karsums, Dynamo Moscow (KHL); Ronalds Kenins, ZSC Lions Zurich (SUI); Vitalijs Pavlovs, Dinamo Riga (KHL); Mikelis Redlihs, Lokomotiv Yaroslavl (KHL); Janis Sprukts, Lokomotiv Yaroslavl (KHL); Juris Stals, HK Poprad (SVK); Herberts Vasiljevs, Krefeld Pinguine (GER)

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