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Finland Looks Strong in 3-1 Win Over Latvia

Latvia gave it everything they had, but it wasn't enough to spark a late-game collapse as Finland skated to a 3-1 win in men's Olympic hockey action.
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Latvia gave it everything they had, but it wasn't enough to spark a late-game collapse as Finland skated to a 3-1 win in men's Olympic hockey action.

Finland has taken control of Group C via goal-differential heading into its highly anticipated final preliminary round game against Sweden on Sunday. Latvia, meanwhile, joins Slovakia in the 0-2 club before their final meeting that same day to decide who takes the third spot in the group.

The first half of the game didn't have much to talk about, with no goals in the first 37:58 of play. Goaltending was the name of the game, with Latvia's Janis Kalnins and Finland's Harri Sateri playing spectacularly at both ends. They made 35 and 19 stops, respectively.

But with two minutes to go in the second period, the Finns finally managed to break through and score. Valteri Kemilainen would break the deadlock with a point shot that blasted through traffic and beat Kalnins to make it 1-0. 

Then, at 43:01, Rodrigo Abols' power-play goal put Latvia back in the game, drawing comparisons to the team's late-game effort against Sweden to open up the tournament. But a tip from Leo Komarov at 54:42 put Finland back out in front and Marko Anttila's marker four minutes later erased any late momentum the Latvians could have had to seal the deal.

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