Granlund scores as Finland beat Latvia at Worlds

TAMPERE, Finland — Host Finland bounced back from a first-half scare to beat Latvia 2-1 for their second win in two games at the ice hockey world championship on Saturday.

Nashville Predators forward Mikael Granlund, less than a week away from being eliminated in the NHL North American playoffs, scored the power-play winner with 2 minutes and 52 seconds left in the final period of the game from Group B in Tampere. Rudolfs Balcers put Latvia ahead 1-0 in the first half and then Sakari Manninen equalized on the power play midway through. Manninen added an assist on Granlund’s goal.

Finland, second in last year’s tournament, shut out Norway 5-0 on Friday, while Latvia lost 4-1 to the United States.

Germany bounced back from a loss to Canada the day before by beating Slovakia 2-1 in Group A in Helsinki. Matthias Plachta and Leonhard Pfoderl put Germany ahead 2-0, Kristian Pospisil responding with the only Slovakian goal.

In Group B, Sweden had only three lines available in Game 1 against Austria, as the team awaited NHL playoff results to complete the roster with Swedish league players, whose playoffs didn’t end until Thursday.

Joel Kellman, Max Friberg and Joakim Nordstrom each contributed a goal to a 3-1 victory against a team which, along with France, replaced the Russian and Belarusian teams.

In their first game, the Czech Republic beat Great Britain 5-1 in another Group B game. Matej Blumel led the Czech Republic with two goals and one assist.

Also in Group A, Joachim Blichfeld had a hat trick and Nikolaj Ehlers had three assists for Denmark, who started the tournament by beating Kazakhstan 9-1.

A three-goal lead after the first period, with New Jersey Devils defender Jonas Siegenthaler on those three goals, propelled Switzerland to a 5-2 win over Italy in their Group A opener. .

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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