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LIVE BLOG: Canada just barely beats Latvia 2-1; Winning goal by Sicamous's Shea Weber

*Canada needed all 60 minutes to defeat the upstart Latvians and their incredible goaltending performance by Kristers Gudlevskis, who made 55 saves in the win. Shea Weber (Sicamous, B.C.) and Patrick Sharp scored for Canada, who will now move onto face the United States in Friday's semifinal in Sochi.

On the other side, Sweden and Finland both won their quarterfinal games on Wednesday, and will advance to an all-Scandinavian semifinal in their bracket.

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VIDEO: Shea Weber's blast makes "the dam burst" and Canada takes a 2-1 lead...

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PHOTOS...

Sicamous, B.C.'s own Shea Weber, on Canada's 53rd shot of the game, makes it 2-1 for good against Latvia.

This is what it looked like... this is often what it looks like when Shea Weber has time to wind up and fire.

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VIDEO: Phil Kessel, arguably the MVP of the Olympics hockey tournament so far, puts the U.S. ahead 5-1 in their quarterfinal win over the Czech Republic...

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00:00 – CANADA WINS!!

"It wasn't supposed to be this hard," says Jim Hughson. Yup. That about sums it up.

Canada outshoots Latvia, 57-16, and Shea Weber and Patrick Sharp score for Team Petro-Can, who went from Self Serve to Full Serve to finally dump the upstart Latvian team and Vancouver prospect Ronalds Kenins.

First star? Easily Latvian goalie Kristers Gudlevskis, who made 55 saves in the loss.

FINAL SCORE: Canada 2, Latvia 1

On the other side, the United States lead the Czech Republic 5-2 and are minutes away from advancing to the semifinal, where they will face Canada.

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00:25.2, 3rd period – A game-saving back check by some Latvian guy named Redlihs prevents an empty net goal by Jonathan Toews.

Canada 2, Latvia 1

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1:00, 3rd period – Here we go...

#NothingLeftToSay

#StopTypingJustWatch

#CuticleBiter

Canada 2, Latvia 1

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1:30, 3rd period – Latvia takes a timeout, down by one with some solid pressure in the last minute. Carey Price has been sharp, despite facing a limited number of shots, and Canada is clinging to its 2-1 lead.

Canada 2, Latvia 1

The United States has taken a comfortable 5-2 lead over the Czech Republic, outshooting the Czechs only 25-23. Alex Hemsky has both Czech goals.

United States 5, Czech Republic 2

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Exhale, Canada. But don't relax just yet.

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VIDEO: Lauris Darzins scores a pretty one on Carey Price to tie the game at 1-1 in the first period:

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Here's VIDEO of Patrick Sharp's opener, which put Canada ahead 1-0 early:

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3:47, 3rd period – Canada is putting the pressure on, but Carey Price and his shot blockers make a couple nice saves to keep this thing at 2-1.

Corey Perry was robbed by Latvian goalie Gudlevskis, on Canada's 56th shot of the game.

Latvia has 14 shots.

Canada 2, Latvia 1

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6:40, 3rd period – GOAL CANADA!! GOAL CANADA!! Goal, Canada...

Shea Weber just BOMBED one by Latvian goalie Kristers Gudlevskis, on Canada's 54th shot. Finally, finally, the maple leafs take the lead, but Latvia has been getting their chances and Carey Price has been sharp in his spurts of work.

Canada 2, Latvia 1

United States 5, Czech Republic 2

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7:07, 3rd period – Canada has 17 seconds left on its powerplay, and has yet to break the tie. It's been all Canada the last few minutes, but nothing can get by Latvian goalie Kristers Gudlevskis, and the team's defenders are dropping like injured flies whenever Shea Weber winds up.

Canada leads the game in shots, 53-13.

Canada 1, Latvia 1

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8:37, 3rd period – Canada on the powerplay and Patrick Sharp's one-time goes awry.

He gives himself the "What are you thinking?" head smack and Canada will head back to the face-off circle.

Canada 1, Latvia 1

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10:00, 3rd period – Look at the scoreboard. This is happening, Canada.

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11:33, 3rd period... Canada NO-GOAL.

Kristaps Sotnieks covers up a sure goal with his goal in Latvia's crease, robbing Canada of a goal.

The referee misses the call, the play is non-reviewable, and the game stays tied.

Canada 1, Latvia 1

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12:00, 3rd period – Time is running out, Canada is badly outshooting Latvia, but the Latvians are getting their chances, too.

Fear is starting to sink in.

We are one shot away from either national relief or the greatest Olympic upset since 1980...

Canada 1, Latvia 1

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Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper is watching the game from Mexico. This isn't important, but I thought I'd show you...

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It hasn't always been easy for Latvia's/Buffalo's head coach Ted Nolan. But you have to wonder if this is all worth it...

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19:50, 3rd period – That moment when you kind of hate Latvia, but have to admit you would love them if you weren't Canadian...

Canada starts the final frame on a powerplay. Patrick Sharp – who has Canada's only goal today – is playing the point with Drew Doughty, who leads Canada in goals in Sochi.

Canada 1, Latvia 1

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2nd Intermission:

The shots are 35-11 for Canada, but this game is wide-open. Latvia has had some open ice and has the ability to make the Canadians pay, unlike Slovenia when they hung on but were eventually dominated by Sweden today, 5-0.

Jonathan Toews, Jeff Carter, and Sidney Crosby are the only three Canadian forward to play more than 10 minutes so far.

Shea Weber leads Canadian defencemen with over 16 minutes, Duncan Keith over 15 minutes.

Martin St. Louis and Dan Hamhuis have played the least of all Canadians, with 4:51 and 5:17, respectively.

Canada 1, Latvia 1

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1:01, 2nd period – Amen, Panger:

Canada leads Latvia in shots, 35-10. A couple terrific chances for Corey Perry are once again snuffed out by Kristers Gudlevskis.

Canada 1, Latvia 1

United States 4, Czech Republic 1

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4:11, 2nd period – Carey Price just made a monster save for Canada to keep the Latvians at bay.

A loss for Canada here would be up there with Italy's loss to Abyssinia/Ethiopia in 1935 for the biggest upsets ever to occur in Europe or around Europe.

Canada 1, Latvia 1

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6:34, 2nd period – Sorry to say it, but this is a complete replication of Canada's loss to Switzerland in Torino in 2006.

The Canada continue to break in with bigger, faster bodies, but they have been isolating themselves and making slow passes to nobody all game.

Shots are 31-9 for Canada, but there have been few memorable ones.

Canada 1, Latvia 1

United States 4, Czech Republic 1

It appears now, for sure, that the Americans will be in the semifinals against either Canada or Latvia. And if the Canadians play like they are right now, you can count on the Americans playing for gold, too.

Or, maybe Latvia really is just this good.

#NotLikely

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7:38, 2nd period – Carey Price covers up. Canada's kills that penalty and avoids disaster.

And are there any Canucks fans like me out there suddenly thinking, "Why haven't we seen Ronalds Kenins yet?"

Canada 1, Latvia 1

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12:19, 2nd period – Canada gets a couple isolated chances, but can't score on their powerplay. Best chance comes from a streaking Jeff Carter, who tried to go top shelf on Gudlevskis's blocker side and was stopped.

Marty St. Louis has played the least of any Canadian forward with just 1:24 of ice time. Dan Hamhuis close behind with just 3:26 on the back end.

Shea Weber has played 11:24 and Jonathan Toews leads all forwards with 8:09.

Canada 1, Latvia 1

United States 4, Czech Republic 1

The U.S. just took a three-goal lead with a goal from Zach Parise, a sort-of weak shot from the side of the net that was five-hole on a less-than-capable Ondrej Pavalec, who's then pulled in favour of Alexander Salak.

The U.S. have scored four times on 12 shots. Canada has scored once on 29 shots against Latvia's Gudlevskis.

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14:23, 2nd period – Full disclosure: as I'm "working" and watching this Canada-Latvia game, I'm also watching Anthony Bourdain on my personal laptop.

Why? Because I'd really rather be anywhere else.

Canada 1, Latvia 1

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14:49, 2nd period – John Tavares is hurt. Because, yeah, why not?

He also totally Landeskog'd after that hit, too.

Canada 1, Latvia 1

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15:54, 2nd period – Canada is struggling mightily to connect passes to get to any rebounds.

It must be these darn white Petro-Canada jerseys. I think they call this game a Self Serve.

Canada 1, Latvia 1

United States 3, Czech Republic 1

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17:51, 2nd period – Canada, if you want to watch real hockey, turn to TSN2 and see the United States take on the Czech Republic.

Canada, if you want to watch Canadian hockey... turn to TSN2 and see the United States take on the Czech Republic.

Canada 1, Latvia 1

United States 3, Czech Republic 1

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18:41, 2nd period – First, Corey Perry puts a puck past Latvian goalie Gudlevskis, but through the crease. Then, Gudlevskis robs him with the glove.

Still...

Canada 1, Latvia 1

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19:52, 2nd period – Hey, Sochi... how about a Super Bowl-sized power outage?

This game is 20 minutes through and Canada has yet to start.

Canada 1, Latvia 1

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1st Intermission:

Latvia have written the book on Canada with that 1st period.

If you hit the Canadians, they'll be shocked you're even trying, and you can beat them that way.

Canada 1, Latvia 1

The United States is up 3-1 on the Czech Republic in the bracket's other quarterfinal. Goals from van Riemsdyk, David Backes, and Dustin Brown. Czech goal from Ales Hemsky.

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Here's Alex Ovechkin on Russia's loss to Finland today, 3-1, which knocked the hosts out of their own Winter Olympics:

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The Americans are now up 2-1 in their first period over the Czech Republic. The winner of that quarterfinal will face the winner of the Canada-Latvia quarterfinal in Friday's semis. And, believe me, this one is up in the air...

Latvia is on a powerplay with 3:00 left in the first period.

Canada 1, Latvia 1

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4:19, 1st period – LATVIA GOAL...

Some guys named 'Darzins' just slipped behind Canada's defence – looked like #19 Jay Bouwmeester – and flipped a backhand deck top corner, past Carey Price.

Time to tighten up. Or, let loose.

Canada 1, Latvia 1

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6:23, 1st period – CANADA GOAL!!

That's why you have Patrick Sharp on this team, Canada. The Chicago sniped stays open while John Tavares and Rick Nash drag Latvians around their own net, and then wires the one-timer from the right wing for a 1-0 lead.

Canada 1, Latvia 0

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7:52, 1st period – Canada is outshooting Latvia by a 13-3 margin, but the Latvians are quickly closing any holes the Canadians are trying to expose.

Crosby's last break-in had both Bergeron and Kunitz watching him, not playing with him.

Canada 0, Latvia 0

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11:36, 1st period – This is how close Chris Kunitz was...

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14:09, 1st period – Canada finally starting to pour it on... a couple posts, a couple flukey shoulder saves from a solidly positioned Kudlevskis.

Canada 0, Latvia 0

Meanwhile, the Americans and the Czech Republic are already tied with a couple goals shared, 1-1.

Goal: Toronto Maple Leafs forward James van Riemsdyk (USA)

Goal: Ottawa Senators forward Milan Michalek (Czech)

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16:43, 1st period – Here's a crazy idea, Canada. How about we put Sidney Crosby and Jonathan Toews on the same line?

When your healthy scratches are Martin St. Louis and Matt Duchene and your fourth liners are Jamie Benn and John Tavares, something tells me you have enough depth to load up one line.

Canada 0, Latvia 0

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17:42, 1st period – Despite a REAL nice save there from Latvia's goalie – #50 Kristers Kudlevskis – the Canadians are being way outpaced early on. Expect that to change, of course, but you have to imagine... if Canada or Sweden or Russia had the type of energy and effort that Latvia, Norway, Slovania, or even the United States has shown, they'd be rolling over anyone and everyone.

Canada 0, Latvia 0

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19:59, 1st period – PUCK DROP!

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9:04 a.m. – I'm kind of happy Canada is finally wearing those white Petro-Can jerseys, at least for one game.

They're the only ones still available in stores, by the way... and you can't buy one without seeing how it looks on Sidney Crosby first, right?

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8:55 a.m. – A couple of my own thoughts on Sidney Crosby, just before puck drop...

1) Crosby has played just fine so far, in my opinion. He hasn't scored, but he hasn't totally Ovechkin'd it, either.

2) Crosby is the best player in the world. Mike Babcock should move him around to play with others, not move them around to play with him.

3) As excellent as Crosby is, does the "line one" or "line two" or "line four" stuff even matter here? Healthy scratches Matt Duchene and Martin St. Louis have shown the most energy of any Canadian forwards, in my opinion, of course. Instead, make Jonathan Toews Canada's top centre, and let Sidney do his thing with newer minutes

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8:45 a.m. – Hey, Team Canada. This is Jennifer Jones's daughter, Isabella.

Do it for her.

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8:38 a.m. – Here's an official confirmation that P.K. Subban and Matt Duchene are healthy scratches for today's quarterfinal match with Latvia:

Perhaps head coach Mike Babcock is trying to give every molasses-like Canadian – Chris Kunitz, basically – one last shot to cement their spots on this team, and perhaps Latvia is the last chance to do that.

But while the Canadians are tinkering, the Americans, the Finns, the Swedes, and even the Latvians have been winning...

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7:45 a.m. – If you are just starting your Tuesday, here's what you need to know:

Russia is out. Russia is out. Russia is out.

Despite outshooting Finland 38-22 on Wednesday, the Russians managed just one goal from Ilya Kovalchuk, and only in the first period.

Final score: Finland 3, Russia 1.

And Tuukkaa Rask made 37 saves.

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All applicable NHL teams were congratulating their Finnish stars today, either happy that Russia is out or proud of their players or just a little bit bitter that they have to support these guys playing one more game outside of their North American uniforms...

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7:40 a.m. – This is what Putin looked like in Russia today...

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7:39 a.m. – Canada will take on Latvia at 9 a.m. PST.

The United States also takes on the Czech Republic... at 9 a.m. PST.

Both North American heavyweights are on a collision course to meet in Sochi's semifinals, in a rematch of the 2010 ice hockey men's Gold final.

Ditto on the women's bracket, with the men just one game too early.

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7:34 a.m. – Here are Canada's notable line changes for today's quarterfinal against Latvia:

No idea where Marty St. Louis is playing, but he's in. Matt Duchene is out.

P.K. Subban is also sitting. Dan Hamhuis is in. Marc-Edouard Vlasic is still in.

Chris Kunitz, perhaps in his final real-time Olympic audition, will return to Sidney Crosby's line to play with Sid and Patrice Bergeron.

Jamie Benn is slotting in on the wing alongside Corey Perry and Ryan Getzlaf. They may not even have to skate, just do the Michael Jordan-Space Jam thing and out-reach every Latvian. Let's call them The Albatross Line.

Carey Price is, of course, in. Roberto Luongo is out. Here we have a goalie battle between Anahim Lake, B.C.'s Carey Price, who plays for the Montreal Canadiens, and Montreal's Roberto Luongo, who plays for the Vancouver Canucks.

I believe we have a real-life Springfield vs Shelbyville.

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7:30 a.m. – Sure, Russia losing to Finland is the day's big news and all, but let's give some love to both Sweden and Slovenia.

Slovenia, a country making its Winter Olympic hockey debut that has just over 900 total hockey players within its borders, advance to Sochi's quarterfinals and held the Swedes to a narrow, 1-0 lead after 40 minutes. Major props. Or, as they would probably write it, major prjops.

And Sweden, for all their injury trouble, looked like a heavyweight on a mission, slicing through an overmatched defence in the game's final frame for four third-period goals.

Final score: Sweden 5, Slovenia 0. Anze Kopitar 12.

That game against Finland is going to be a beauty.

(CBC has decided to disable the embedding of some of its videos. We can't show you the Highlights here (yet), but head on over to The Corporation's YouTube page in the meantime...)

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7:26 a.m. – Highlights: Here's that moment when Russia was still happy, when Ilya Kovalchuk opened the scoring and put them ahead of the Finns, 1-0.

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7:25 a.m. – Want highlights?

Here's Teemu Selanne's go-ahead, 2-1 goal. It was eventually the game-winner:

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7:00 a.m. – I just woke up, and when I woke up, Russia was out of its own Olympics.

Finland peppered Russia's goaltenders with 22 shots and Finnish goalie Tuukka Rask made 37 saves, shutting down everyone but Ilya Kovalchuk.

Kovalchuk opened the game's scoring, but Juhamatti Aaltonen, Teemu Selanne, and Mikael Granlund scored three unanswered Finnish goals for a 3-1 win.

Semyon Varlamov started the game for Russia, and was pulled after allowing three goals on 15 shots. Fill-in Sergei Bobrovsky stopped all seven shots he faced to end the game.

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