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(LEAD) Kazakhstan beats Latvia to win men's hockey tournament in S. Korea

All Headlines 19:23 February 08, 2019

(ATTN: ADDS details, photo)
By Yoo Jee-ho

GANGNEUNG, South Korea, Feb. 8 (Yonhap) -- Kazakhstan outlasted Latvia 3-2 in overtime to win a men's ice hockey tournament in South Korea on Friday.

Anton Nekryach scored the winner with 1:53 left in the sudden-death extra period, as Kazakhstan, world No. 18, completed the four-nation Legacy Cup with a perfect 3-0-0 (wins-losses-overtime losses) record. The 11th-ranked Latvia finished in second place at 2-0-1.

In this photo provided by the Korea Ice Hockey Association, Artem Likhotnikov of Kazakhstan (2nd from R) controls the puck against Latvia in the teams' final match at the Legacy Cup men's hockey tournament at Gangneung Hockey Centre in Gangneung, 230 kilometers east of Seoul, on Feb. 8, 2019. (Yonhap)

South Korea is hosting the tournament, which also features Japan, to celebrate the first anniversary of the PyeongChang Winter Olympics. All games are being played at Gangneung Hockey Centre in Gangneung, 230 kilometers east of Seoul. It was one of two hockey venues during the Olympics and hosted the men's and women's gold medal contests.

South Korea and Japan, each saddled with two losses, will close out the competition later Friday.

After a scoreless first period, Latvia opened the scoring at 2:54 in the second period with Elvijs Biezais' goal. Kazakhstan pulled even at 5:07 in the same period on a goal by Arkadiy Shestakov.

Kazakhstan took the lead just under three minutes into the final frame when Nikita Kleshchenko converted a pretty feed by Valeriy Gurin from behind the net.

At about the halfway point, Rudolfs Maslovskis tied the score for Latvia with a wrist shot from the slot.

Kazakhstan wasted a power play opportunity late in regulation, and with the specter of a shootout looming, Nekryach delivered the winner with a backhander off the rush.

The two sides combined for 14 minor penalties in the chippy match.

jeeho@yna.co.kr
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