World Championship: Russia tops Latvia, reaches quarterfinals

MINSK, Belarus — Forward Viktor Tikhonov scored two first-period goals and added an assist to lead Russia to a 4-1 win over Latvia on Saturday and a spot in the quarterfinals of the ice hockey world championship.

Also, France prevailed in a penalty shootout to edge Norway 5-4.

Tikhonov tied it at 1-1 with a wrist shot and then scored on a power play to make it 3-1 with his sixth goal of the tournament.

"We conceded a goal but then we showed our character and replied," Tikhonov said. "We have to play for 100 percent the whole game."

Russia outshot Latvia 43-15 to win its fifth straight game. It lead Group B with 15 points and is guaranteed a spot in the quarters. Latvia is second with nine points.

Sergei Shirokov and Sergei Kalinin also had a goal apiece for Russia after Miks Indrasis one-timed the puck past Russia goaltender Sergei Bobrovski to give Latvia an early lead.

"The best thing is that we keep winning," Kalinin said.

Stephane Da Costa scored the winning penalty in the shootout to lift France over Norway.

France and Norway are tied for third in Group A behind leading Sweden and Canada.

Antoine Roussel scored twice and Yorick Treille had one goal in a 51-second span in the second to lead the French comeback after Norway took a 2-0 lead with goals from Mats Trygg and Morten Ask.

Later Saturday, the Czech Republic plays Denmark and Slovakia faces Italy in Group A while Germany meets Belarus and Switzerland takes on Kazakhstan in Group B.