Latvia’s national team tied the Czech Republic 1-1 in their first game as the International Ice Hockey Federation’s World Championship got underway May 5 in Rīga.
Sixteen teams are vying for the title that is scheduled to be decided May 21.
Latvia’s Aleksejs Širokovs scored the first goal of the game 6 minutes 22 seconds into the first period, according to a game summary posted on the official championship Web site, www.ihwc.net. The Czech Republic’s David Yborny scored the tying goal 19:32 into the game.
The Czech team kept Latvia’s goaltender, Sergejs Naumovs, busy throughout, recording 32 shots on goal. Latvia managed just 12 shots on goal against the Czech Republic’s Milan Hnilicka.
Latvia, the Czech Republic, Finland and Slovenia are competing in the Group A preliminary round. Latvia faces Finland in a game scheduled May 7, and goes up against Slovenia on May 9.
The top three teams in each of four prelimary rounds will advance to the qualification round, according to World Championship rules. Two groups of six teams each will compete in the qualification round, with the top four in each advancing to the quarter-finals.
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