Men's Ice Hockey World Championship gets underway in Riga today. During the championships 16 national teams will compete for medals.
The Latvian national team plays in the championship's Group A, which also includes the Czech Republic, current world champions, the Finnish team that won the Olympic silver medal this year, and Slovenia. Group B includes Olympic champions Sweden, Switzerland, Ukraine and Italy. Group C includes Slovakia, Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan, and Group D - Canada, the United States, Denmark and Norway.
Group A and Group C matches will be played at "Arena Riga", whereas Group B and Group D matches - at the "Skonto" Arena.
The Latvian team's first match will be against the Czechs, which will start at 9:15 p.m. today. May 7 Latvia will play against Finland, whereas May 9 - Slovenia. All these matches will be broadcasted live on TV3.
The U.S. vs. Norway match will begin at 4:15 p.m. today, Finland vs. Slovenia - at 5:15 p.m., and Denmark vs. Canada - at 8:15 p.m.
Best three teams in every group will qualify for the next round of the championship. The second round matches will be played from May 11 to May 16. The quarterfinals are scheduled for May 17 and May 18, and semifinals for May 20. The match for the bronze medals and the final match will be played on May 21.
The Latvian team has played five warm-up games before the championship - two against Russia (2-4 and 0-2 defeats), one against Finland (3-1 victory), Switzerland (3-1) and Denmark (5-3).
Latvia has played the Czech Republic three times, when the final score in all the three matches was 1-3.