Czech Republic defeats Latvia in opening game at ice hockey world championships


The reigning world champions, the Czech ice hockey team, on Saturday beat Latvia 4-2 in their opening Group D match at the world championships currently underway in the Slovak city of Kosice. Striker Patrik Eliáš, of the New Jersey Devils, and Martin Havlat, of the Minnesota Wild, both collected a goal and an assist, while goalie Ondřej Pavelec made 22 saves. Czech defenseman Radek Martínek had to be carried off on a stretcher and taken to a Bratislava hospital for treatment. The Czechs will meet their next opponents, Denmark, on Monday.