A late comeback by the Czech Republic spoiled the first goal of the tournament for Zemgus Girgensons as Latvia lost in dramatic fashion for the second game in a row at the IIHF World Championship in St. Petersburg, Russia on Saturday.
Girgensons scored on the power play to tie the game in the third period and the Latvians took a 3-2 lead less than 10 minutes later, but Michal Repik scored to retie it for the Czech Republic with just 49 seconds remaining in regulation. Lukas Kaspar scored the lone goal in a shootout to earn a 4-3 win for the Czechs.
Latvia falls to 0-0-0-2 with the loss, giving them two points in the standings. The Latvians opened with an overtime loss to Sweden on Friday. After putting just one shot on net in that game, Girgensons tallied five shots in 20:43 of ice time on Saturday.
USA 6 – BLR 3
Coming off of a lopsided loss to Canada in their opener on Monday, the U.S. began its game against Belarus with three-straight goals and withstood a late comeback attempt for a 6-3 win, improving their record to 1-1-0-0 at the World Championship.
Auston Matthews led the way with two goals while Miles Wood, Chris Wideman, Dylan Larkin and Noah Hanifin also tallied for the U.S. Goalie Mike Condon, making his first start of the tournament, faced 23 shots and made 20 saves.
Sabres forward Hudson Fasching played just one shift in the first period and totaled 28 seconds of ice time. Defenseman Jake McCabe did not play and is day-to-day according to Michael Traikos of Postmedia News. McCabe left the game on Friday after falling into the boards but did return.
Ryan O'Reilly and Sam Reinhart will return to play for Canada when they face Hungary on Sunday at 5:15 a.m. EST. The U.S. and Latvia both play next on Monday, with Latvia facing Russia at 9:15 a.m. and the U.S. facing Finland at 1:15 p.m. Team USA's game can be seen live on NBC Sports Network.