Latvia and USA to launch hockey world championships

Latvian hockey players will play in one of two opening games of the IIHF World Championships on Friday, with the formidable task of taking on the USA. 

At the World Championships in Finland, the national team will play seven group matches in a quest to reach the knockout stages.

For the first time in the world championship, the Latvian national team will be led by head coach Harijs Vītoliņš, who has gone to the tournament with a much renewed team and nine debutants. The Latvian Hockey Federation hopes that the national team will be able to compete for a place in the quarter-finals and maintain elite status.

Latvian hockey players must also meet in Tampere with the national teams of Finland, Norway, the Czech Republic, Austria, Great Britain and Sweden. 

Meanwhile Canada, Switzerland, Slovakia, Germany, Denmark, France, Kazakhstan and Italy will play in the second group in Helsinki. 

Russia and Belarus have been excluded from the tournament as aggressor states, so Austria and France have been invited instead.  

All Latvian national team games will be available live on LTV7 and replay.lv to those inside Latvia. The live broadcast of the game between the USA and Latvia will start at 15.30 with pre-game studio studio chat.

For full coverage details see LSM's dedicated hockey news and the official IIHF World Championships site.

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