Mason McTavish scores twice, Canada doubles up Latvia 4-2

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PLANO, Texas — Mason McTavish had two goals and an assist and 15-year-old Connor Bedard added two helpers as Canada doubled up Latvia 4-2 on Wednesday at the under-18 men's hockey championship.

Latvian goaltender Karlis Mezsargs made it difficult for the Canadians (2-0-0), who opened their tournament with a 12-1 win over Sweden a day earlier.

Mezsargs stopped 17 shots in the first period to keep the game scoreless, and 48-of-52 overall to give Canada its first test.

“Latvia is a hard-working team and we have to give them a lot of credit," said defenceman Brandt Clarke.

"They were coming at us all night and we were able to weather the storm, but we would have liked to capitalize on more of our chances. For us to pull off that 4-2 win was big for us because sometimes you need these tight games to help you later on in the tournament.”

Logan Stankoven had a goal and an assist while Dylan Guenther rounded out the Canadian offence.

Canada's Benjamin Gaudreau turned aside 25 shots.

Anri Ravinskis and Sandis Vilmanis scored for Latvia (0-2-0).

Captain Shane Wright, who had a hat trick against the Swedes, and defenceman Corson Ceulemans didn't dress against Latvia for precautionary reasons not related to COVID-19.

Also on Wednesday, Finland (2-0-0) held on for a 6-5 win against the Czech Republic (1-1).

Canada has an off day before returning to the ice Friday against Switzerland (1-1-0).

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This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 28, 2021.

The Canadian Press