RIGA – Trevor Moore and 18-year-old Matty Beniers scored in a 1:47 span midway through the second period to help the United States beat Latvia 4-2 on Thursday in the world hockey championship.
Brian Boyle and Matt Tennyson scored in the first period and Cal Petersen made 17 saves in the Americans' third straight victory after an opening loss to Finland. They are second in Group B, a point behind Finland.
“The message that we’ve had, we’ve executed,” said Boyle, at 36 the Americans' oldest player. “We’ve tried to get better each game. With 13 forwards and 7 defensemen, you have different guys playing with different people, but we’re a hard-working team and play above the puck. We’ve tried to earn our offense, and it’s paid off for us.”
Miks Indrasis and Renard Krastenbergs had first-period goals for Latvia.
The U.S. will face Norway on Saturday, Germany on Monday and complete group play Tuesday against Italy.
Finland beat Italy 3-0 in the other Group B game Thursday. Tony Sund scored twice, Arttu Ruotsalainen added a goal, and Harri Sateri made 11 saves.
In Group A, Switzerland routed Slovakia 8-1, and the Czech Republic beat Sweden 4-2.
Gregory Hofmann had a goal and an assist to help Switzerland join Slovakia and Russia atop the group standings. Slovakia had won three in a row in regulation.
The Czech Republic overcame a 2-0 deficit, with Jakub Vrana, Jan Kovar, Lukas Klok and Jakub Flek scoring third-period goals.