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USA vs. Latvia final score, results: United States pulls away for opening win at 2023 World Juniors

The United States got off to a slow start, but at the end, the Americans walked away with a 5-2 victory over Latvia on Monday to start their 2023 World Junior Championship. 

The USA scored three unanswered goals in the third period to secure the win. Five different players found the back of the net, with Red Savage and Sean Behrens leading the way with a goal and an assist each. 

After a scoreless first period, the two teams exchanged goals in the middle frame. Jimmy Snuggerud and Behrens scored for the Americans, while Arni Ravinskis and Niks Fenenko tallied for Latvia. The United States heavily outshot its opponent in the period, but the Latvians scored on their first two shots of the frame. 

MORE: Watch the 2023 World Juniors live with fuboTV (free trial, U.S. only)

Goals by Chaz Lucius, Savage and Luke Hughes in the third propelled the USA to the win. Trey Augustine got the win in net, stopping 15 of 17 shots. 

The Sporting News provided live updates and highlights from the USA-Latvia matchup at the 2023 World Junior Championship.

MORE: Team USA roster, schedule for 2023 World Juniors

USA vs. Latvia score

  1 2 3 OT F
USA 0 2 3 5
Latvia 0 2 0 2

USA vs. Latvia live updates, highlights from 2023 World Juniors

(All times Eastern.)

Final — USA 5, Latvia 2

6:37 p.m. — After a slow start, the USA pull away from Latvia in the third for a 5-2 win to start the 2023 World Juniors. Some sloppy play at times by the Americans mixed in with flashes of dominance in the puck possession game. There is plenty for the USA to improve on from this one, while Latvia proved again they won’t go down easy against anyone. 

6:32 p.m. — Not sure how Latvia didn’t score, but a turnover by the USA in their own zone leads to a 3 on 1 right around the net. Darels Dakurs finds a wide-open Klavs Veinbergs at the back door, but Veinbergs doesn’t get enough on the redirect and it goes wide. 

6:28 p.m. — Cutter Gauthier gets behind the Latvia defense and beats Berzins, but can’t beat the iron, as the puck clangs the iron and goes out of play. It’s been an impressive game for Gauthier who hasn’t gotten on the score sheet yet, but has had a plethora of opportunities to find twine. 

6:23 p.m. — Jack Peart and Charlie Stramel get their first points of the tournament, as they both pick up assists on the Hughes goal. 

6:22 p.m. — GOAL! A seeing-eye shot from the captain Luke Hughes goes off the post and in. It was a harmless attempt from the point, but one that beats Berzins to make it a 5-2 game with 6:31 left. We’ll see how conservative Pecknold’s crew plays now with a comfortable lead. 

6:21 p.m. — USA isn’t letting the foot off the gas pedal. McGroarty uses his speed and reach to try a wrap-around attempt, but Berzins gets in position and the shot deflects wide. 

6:14 p.m. — Excellent chance for the USA on the power play as Snuggerud has multiple whacks at a loose puck in the crease with Berzins down and out, but it somehow stays out. Latvia successfully kills off the second power play for the USA. 

6:11 p.m. — USA gets their second chance on the man advantage as Ravinskis gets two minutes for cross-checking. Still plenty of time, but Latvia showing the early signs of being worn down by the pressure of the United States. 

6:08 p.m. — GOAL! The USA get their first multi-goal lead of the night as Red Savage pots home a rebound. A blind backhand pass off the wall from a Latvian forward goes right on the tape of Dylan Duke, who cuts to the middle, spins and gets a shot on Berzins, who kicks it right to Savage for the goal. 4-2 with 13:12 left. 

6:04 p.m. — Not sure why there was a review, but goal is confirmed. Blake does end up getting credit for an assist, Behrens also collects a helper as well, 3-2 USA early in the third. 

6:01 p.m. — GOAL! Less than two minutes into the final frame, Chaz Lucius does it himself with a slick backhand by the glove of Berzins. Solid play by Blake to cause the turnover at the red line after the USA cleared the puck out of their own zone. He doesn’t get credit for an assist, but he pressured the Latvian defender with the bouncing puck. 

6 p.m. — The third period is a go. 

End of second period: USA 2, Latvia 2

5:40 p.m. — After 40 minutes, two goals from both sides in the second make it a 2-2 game. As stated below, a better period from the USA where they outplayed Latvia for a majority of the time. Still, Latvia has shown they are going to be a pesky team and the USA can’t afford to get too aggressive and make mistakes (like Hughes on Latvia’s first goal). Continuing to get pucks and bodies to the net is going to be the key for the Americas in order to come out on top. 

5:33 p.m. — Even though the game is tied, it’s a much, much better period from the Americans. The USA has pushed the play and been the better team, heavily outshooting Latvia. However the Latvians have scored on both of their shots so far in the second. USA needs to stick to the game plan and not get frustrated with the results on the scoreboard, but also realize that Latvia isn’t going away. 

5:32 p.m. — Re-watching the Fenenko goal, Boucher has to be better. There was no reason for him to jump down low when his defender already had the Latvia forward taken care of. It leaves Fenenko open at the point. Then, Boucher hesitates for some reason to challenge Fenenko, letting the defender walk in and get a clean shot off. 

5:30 p.m. — GOAL! Latvia finally gets sustained offensive zone pressure for the first time in a while and a Niks Fenenko shot from the point somehow gets through and into the back of the net. Augustine never had a chance to track the shot with the traffic in front. Tied 2-2 with 5:36 to go. 

5:27 p.m. — No dice for the USA on the power play. Best chance came from a re-entry where Ufko got a drop-off in the slot, but sailed it high. 

5:25 p.m. — First PP unit for the USA is out to start, Hughes, Cooley, Gauthier, Boucher and McGroarty. 

5:24 p.m. — The USA gets its first power play of the night, as Gustavs Ozolins is called for high-sticking. 

5:23 p.m. — Assists go to Red Savage and Dylan Duke on the Behrens goal. 

5:21 p.m. — GOAL! The USA is back on top, as Sean Behrens buries a one-timer from the point. He quickly snaps a shot from the blue line and it beats traffic and Berzins to give the USA a 2-1 lead with 10:43 left in the second. 

5:18 p.m. — A chance for the USA to re-take the lead, as a shot by Cutter Gauthier gets through the legs of Berzins and the puck bounces around in the crease. But a great play by Latvia’s defense to clear out the puck and take care of the sticks of the USA attackers to prevent the goal. 

5:11 p.m. — GOAL! Latvia is on the board at the World Juniors as Anri Ravinskis finishes off a pretty give-and-go with Rainers Rullers. A bad step up by Luke Hughes in the neutral zone results in a 2 on 1 as Ravinskis and Rullers play pass-and-catch and Ravinskis has a wide open net on the rush. 

5:07 p.m. — It’s all USA now to start the second. Whatever message was said at the intermission has been received. Latvia still is collapsing into the middle, but the USA are countering by getting pucks and bodies to the net after working it around the outside. 

5:04 p.m. — GOAL! It’s a greasy goal from Jimmy Snuggerud to open the scoring for the USA 24 seconds into the second period. The Americans deny a breakout attempt from Latvia, Snuggerud collects the puck, takes it to the net and puts in his second chance. A bouncing puck was tough for Berzins to handle, resulting in Snuggerud being able to knock it in from the crease. Assist goes to Logan Cooley.  

End of first period: USA 0, Latvia 0

4:45 p.m. — The quick whistle on the Boucher chance negates a goal for the USA, so it is 0-0 after 20 minutes. A competitive period by both teams, but you can see the holes in the USA’s game. They don’t have the stars up front to take over on offense, and instead are going to rely on the defense jumping up in the play and creating off the rush. 

4:44 p.m. — Confirmed, no goal. Lucky break for Latvia on the quick whistle. The game remains scoreless. 

4:41 p.m. — A shot by Sean Behrens looks like it’s stopped by Berzins, so the whistle blows. But Tyler Boucher had a couple of jabs at the puck and the puck was over the goal line. Officials are going to review if the puck crossed over before the whistle was blown. Call on the ice was no goal. 

4:35 p.m. — Latvia has all the momentum right now. Trey Augustine has been forced to make a couple of stops on secondary chances. Despite the gap on paper, it has been a very competitive game so far, which should not come as a surprise for those that watched Latvia at the 2022 World Juniors. 

4:34 p.m. — USA kills off the Brindley penalty. They were able to keep the Latvia PP on the perimeter for a majority of the penalty, with just one shot getting onto Augustine. 

4:30 p.m. — First penalty of the game is against the Americans, as Gavin Brindley is called for slashing. 

4:27 p.m. — The USA has to be better at managing the puck and winning 1 on 1 battles. Latvia has taken advantage of a couple and nearly gotten Grade-A chances.

4:19 p.m. — Two great chances for the USA, both generated by Jackson Blake, but Patriks Berzins comes up with a save on both. Blake got a pass right near the net as he driving in front, but didn’t have a ton of room to get around Berzins. He then got another point-blank chance at the side of the net, but fired right at Berzins. 

4:15 p.m. — Five minutes in and it’s clear Latvia’s game plan is to stack up the middle and keep the USA on the outside. The Americans spending a lot of time in the offensive zone on the perimeter so far. 

4:11 p.m. — In the opening minute, Latvia nearly gets on the board. A really bad turnover by Ryan Ufko behind his net goes right out in front to Martins Lavins, but his shot is deflected up and out of play. 

4:10 p.m. — Puck is down and USA”s journey at the 2023 World Juniors begin. 

Pregame

3:30 p.m. — Trey Augustine gets the nod in net over Kaidan Mbereko for the USA. Mbereko was the No. 1 starter at the 2022 World Juniors, but Rand Pecknold goes with the U.S. U18 goalie. 

3:15 p.m. — This is how the two teams will line up for their opener. It’s the same lines and pairings from their two exhibition games for the USA. 

What channel is USA vs. Latvia on today?

  • United States: NHL Network
  • Canada: TSN 1

TSN has all the World Juniors action in Canada, while in the United States, viewers can find the games on NHL Network.

Stephen Nelson will provide play-by-play coverage for NHL Network. He will be joined by analyst Dave Starman and reporter Jon Rosen on the broadcasts. 

Dennis Beyak and Craig Button will be on the call for the USA games for TSN. Laura Diakun and Dave Reid will be in the studio. 

How to live stream World Juniors hockey games

U.S. fans can stream the tournament on fuboTV (which comes with a free trial), NHL.tv or the NHL app.

Fans in Canada can stream all World Juniors games on TSN.ca or the TSN app.

USA vs. Latvia odds

  • USA: -5.5 (-119)
  • Latvia: +5.5 (-116)
  • O/U: 7.5

According to Sports Interaction, the USA opened as massive favorites over Latvia, with the puckline sitting at 5.5 in favor of the Americans. 

USA World Juniors schedule 2023

(All times Eastern)

Date Opponent Result Time (ET) TV Info
Dec. 26 Latvia 4 p.m.  TSN, NHLN
Dec. 28 Slovakia 4 p.m.  TSN, NHLN
Dec. 29 Switzerland 4 p.m.  TSN, NHLN
Dec. 31 Finland 4 p.m. TSN, NHLN
Jan. 2 TBD (Quarterfinals) TBD  TSN, NHLN
Jan. 4 TBD (Semifinals) TBD  TSN, NHLN
Jan. 5 TBD (Gold-Medal Game) TBD  TSN, NHLN


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