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WATCH LIVE: Men’s hockey pits Czech Republic vs. Latvia, featuring Jaromir Jagr

Sochi Olympics Ice Hockey Men

Czech Republic forward Jaromir Jagr and Sweden forward Loui Eriksson race after the puck in the third period of a men’s ice hockey game at the 2014 Winter Olympics, Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2014, in Sochi, Russia. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)

Mark Humphrey

While they finished respectively, things looked ugly for the Czech Republic in its opening game of the Olympics, as the Swedes often left them befuddled. Luckily for them, not every game is against a team of the caliber of podium threat Sweden; Friday’s game against Latvia could be just the tonic.

Czech Republic vs. Latvia: 3 a.m. ET (MSNBC) – CLICK HERE TO WATCH LIVE

For many fans - especially hockey devotees who haven’t been around very long - the oldest names might be most familiar. Czechs Jaromir Jagr is still doing quite well in the NHL at 41, Petr Nedved is still an international threat at 42 and some may also remember Latvia’s Sandis Ozolinsh, 41.

Latvia features other NHL players, but the Czechs have advantages in terms of both quality and quantity. It would be a pretty big upset if Latvia manages a win here, even with a rocky beginning.

Follow James O’Brien @cyclelikesedins