Sam Reinhart earned his second point of the tournament with an assist as Canada remained undefeated with a 5-0 win over Slovakia at the IIHF World Championship in St. Petersburg, Russia on Saturday. Canada has outscored their opponents 30-4 through five games in the Preliminary Round.
Reinhart totaled 8:32 of ice time and recorded the primary assist on Mark Scheifele's goal to increase Canada's lead to 4-0 in the second period. Morgan Rielly, Matt Duchene, Taylor Hall and Derick Brassard also scored for the Canadians while Mark Stone added two assists.
Goalie Cam Talbot made 18 saves for Canada for his fourth win and second shutout of the tournament.
Sabres forward Ryan O'Reilly, who ranks fifth on Team Canada with five points (2+3), was kept off the board and had an even rating in 16:59 of ice time.
KAZ 1 – LAT 2
Zemgus Girgensons and Latvia entered their game against Kazakhstan having played four close contests in the Preliminary Round but coming out on the wrong end each time. Four of their five losses had come in one-goal games: one in overtime, two in shootouts and one on a last-minute goal in regulation.
That changed in a must-win game on Saturday, when a third-period goal from Maris Bicevskis gave Latvia a 2-1 lead that stood as the game-winner in a contest where the stakes were high with relegation on the line.
The Latvians now sit in sixth place in the Group A standings with the win, one point ahead of Norway (which has a game in hand) and four points ahead of Kazakhstan.
The loss for Kazakhstan with just one game remaining ensures a last-place finish, meaning they'll be relegated to the tournament's second tier – Division I-A – in 2017.
The Kazakhs got on the board early with a first-period goal on Saturday, but Latvia scored one goal apiece in the second and third to claim the come-from-behind victory. Girgensons was held without a point in 22:41 of ice time but put a game-high seven shots on goal.
The Latvians can still advance to the quarterfinal as the fourth-place team in Group A, but they'll need some help. They're currently tied with fifth-place Denmark with six points and one point behind fourth-place Switzerland, but both teams have a game in hand. That means Denmark and Switzerland will both have to lose their final two games while Latvia will need a win over Norway on Tuesday to advance.
After an off day on Saturday, Hudson Fasching, Jake McCabe and Team USA will look for their third win in a row in a game against Germany at 9:15 a.m. EST on Sunday. The game will be streamed live on NBCSN Live Extra and then televised on NBCSN at 3 p.m.
Canada returns to action against France at 9:15 a.m. EST on Monday, while Latvia will conclude its Preliminary Round against Norway at the same time on Tuesday.