Hockey worlds: Germany beats Latvia, Italy beats France

Germany is off to 2-0 start at the hockey worlds after beating Latvia.



Germany won its second straight game of the hockey world championship, beating Latvia 3-2 on Sunday, while France failed to build on its stunning victory over Canada with a 2-1 loss to Italy.

Thomas Oppenheimer scored on a penalty shot in the third period, squeezing the puck between the pads of goaltender Kristers Gudlevskis to lift the Germans to victory.

Germany took the lead with goals from Marcel Noebels and Frank Mauer, but Georgijs Pujacs and Mikelis Redlihs helped Latvia come back each time.

Germany has five points in Group B after two matches while Latvia has three.

"I have to be happy with my team’s performance," Germany coach Pat Cortina said. "That was a step into the right direction after yesterday."

A last-minute goal with 58 seconds remaining in regulation by Markus Gander gave Italy its first victory of the tournament. Italy, a newcomer to the top division, has three points in Group A while France has two.

"It was great to get our first win and get our confidence going," Italy coach Tom Pokel said.

Later Sunday, host Belarus hopes to get its first win when it takes on Kazakhstan and Norway plays Denmark. In tonight’s clashes of European superpowers, defending champion Sweden faces the Czech Republic and high-scoring Russia takes on Finland.