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Top 25 Under 25: Kristers Gudlevskis

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The Latvian goaltender (and previously unknown 5th round draft pick) burst onto the scene in 2013-14, playing games in the ECHL, AHL, NHL, and Sochi Winter Olympics during his first year in North...

Sochi 2014: Day Eight Recap, the Gudlevksis Show

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Recapping the quarterfinal match-ups from the Sochi Winter Olympics, where Kristers Gudlevskis -- a Tampa Bay Lightning goaltending prospect -- stole the show.

Sochi 2014: Day Four Recap

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More of the same for the Tampa Bay Lightning players at the Sochi Winter Olympics -- no goals, no assists, and more struggles, particularly for the younger players.

Sochi 2014: Day Three Recap

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Trending upwards are Martin St. Louis (Canada) and Sami Salo; downwards, Ondrej Palat (Czech Republic) as Day 3 of the Olympic hockey tournament in Sochi is wrapped up.

Game Thread: Czech Republic vs Latvia

The Czech Republic and Latvia are seeking their first wins of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Group C play.

Sochi 2014: Day One Recap

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Ondrej Palat was the only Lightning player to take the ice in Day 1 at the Sochi Winter Olympics.

Bosnia want to start packing for Brazil

Bosnia and Herzegovina currently top their Uefa qualifying group, and look to extend their lead over Greece with a win in Riga.

Former Tampa Bay Lightning forward Kaspars Astashenko dead

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Latvian defenseman Kaspars Astashenko has passed, according to a Latvian news report. He was 37. How familiar the name Kaspars Astashenko is with Tampa Bay Lightning fans is, is likely subjective to how long one has been a fan, how intense of a fan they are, and how closely they followed things during the team's proverbial lean years. Astashenko played only 23 games with the Tampa Bay Lightning, between 1999 and 2001, his only play at the NHL level. Kaspars also played for the Latvian National Team in the 2002 Winter Olympics.

The Noon Number: 48

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Kaspars Daugavins has played 48 games already this season, despite little to no expectations coming into the year.

Pelss returns to the Oil Kings in style

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Quite a day for Oilers seventh rounder Kristians Pelss. First he returned to Edmonton from a successful "European vacation" in the wee hours, sans luggage. While overseas Pelss helped Latvia win its pool and earn promotion to next year's World Junior, some of which will be held in his current home rink right here in River City. Hours later Pelss, jet lag and all, returned to the Oil Kings line-up with a bang, notching two assists in the locals' 3-2 win over Lethbridge. From the Edmonton Journal's account (linked above): "The third goal, which was the eventual game-winner, was a beauty that came from a Pelss hustle play. After losing his stick near the Oil Kings’ bench, Pelss picked it up and found a pass from Mark Pysyk waiting for him. The pass was like an instant go-button for Pelss, who burst across the blue-line from a standstill, leaving a Lethbridge defenceman behind him. He cut in along the right wing and slid a perfect pass in front to a streaking Jordan Hickmott, who potted his 22nd goal of the season." Having had the opportunity to see Pelss play five games (Joey Moss Cup, four with the Oil Kings) before his departure, this Oiler/Oil Kings fan is very pleased with his rapid progress, as he has been a bigger factor in each successive game. His stats suggest his learning curve has a very steep slope. After starting the season with just 1-3-4, -2 in his first 22 games, Pelss has posted an impressive 2-6-8, +8 over his last six outings. Small sample size, obviously, but nonetheless suggestive that Stu MacGregor has netted another live one and parked him right under Edmontonians' noses. It's already been fun watching this kid develop, and I'm looking forward to doing more of the same over the next season and a half.

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