Latvia stays above Russia at worlds after beating Italy 2-1

PARIS (AP) Center Andris Dzerins scored his second goal of the game with a little more than one minute left as Latvia beat Italy 2-1 at the ice hockey world championships on Tuesday to remain top of Group A, ahead of Russia.

Although Russia has also won its three matches so far, it is in second place because one of those wins came after overtime and a shootout. They play each other next Monday, and both still have to face the United States.

Italy had pushed Slovakia to overtime in a narrow defeat on Saturday and proved resilient again, even taking an early lead through left winger Marco Insam.

Dzerins equalized in the 12th minute of the first period on a power-play, and for the winner was set up by winger Roberts Bukarts with 58:41 showing on the clock and overtime looming in the German city of Cologne - which is co-hosting the tournament with Paris.

Later in Group A Slovakia faced Denmark.

Over in Group B, Ken Andre Olimb help set up the first goal for his older brother Mathis Olimb and got the next one himself as Norway beat Slovenia 5-1 in Paris.

Ken Andre teamed up with left winger Patrick Thoresen on the goal six minutes into the first period and then scored himself with about 15 minutes on the clock, with Thoresen assisting again. Kristian Forsberg made it 3-0 at the end of the first period.

Forward Aleksander Reichenberg scored the fourth near the end of the second period. Robert Sabolic pulled one back for Slovenia, which has lost its three games so far, before Thoresen added the fifth goal - with Ken Andre assisting.

It was another fine performance from Thoresen, who starred with two goals and an assist as Norway downed France 3-2 on Saturday.

Norway is up to second place behind Canada, but Switzerland could reclaim second place by beating France later Tuesday.

There are eight teams in each group with the top four advancing to the quarterfinals.

Canada is bidding for a third straight title and has three wins, with 17 goals scored and three conceded. Canada is looking to equal Russia's tally of 27 world titles - 22 of those as the Soviet Union.

The United States, which has won two and lost one, takes on Italy and Germany plans Slovakia in Group A Wednesday.

Germany will be without forward Tobias Rieder for the rest of the tournament.

Rieder, who scored the first goal in the 2-1 win against the U.S. on Friday, ruptured ligaments in his right foot after crashing into the boards during Monday's 6-3 loss to Russia.

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