Czechs beat Slovenia; Sweden routs Italy
Centre Roman Horak scored two quick goals as the Czech Republic beat Slovenia 5-1 at the ice hockey world championship on Friday.
The win moved the 2010 champion into second place in Group B, one point above Switzerland and two behind leader Canada, which is chasing a third straight title and recordequaling 27th overall.
Centre Elias Lindholm scored his fifth goal of the tournament as nine-time champion Sweden moved up to second in Group A by crushing lastplaced Italy 8-1 at the Lanxess arena, netting five goals in the third period.
Horak’s goals came a little more than three minutes apart during a one-sided first period for the Czech Republic.
After Michal Repik scored on an early power-play, Horak doubled the lead on another power-play eight minutes into the first period and struck again with 11:46 on the clock.
Defenceman Michal Kempny put Slovenia well out of reach just two minutes into the second period, prodding in from close range after being set up from behind the net by centre Petr Vrana.
Slovenia’s consolation goal came from forward Miha Verlic early into the third.
“We lost too many pucks in the neutral zone and they took advantage of that,’’ Slovenia coach Nik Zupancic said. “There was no chance today, the Czech team has quality and deservedly won.’’
Center Roman Cervenka got the fifth goal with a stylish finish on a breakaway, collecting a feed from Jan Kovar and showing soft hands to glide around goaltender Gasper Kroselj before dumping the puck home to send the Czech fans behind the goal wild.
Sweden’s other goals came from Victor Rask with a slap shot into the top right corner, defencemen Philip Holm and Jonas Brodin, Linus Omark, Carl Klingberg, Joel Eriksson Ek, and John Klingberg.
In Friday’s late games, cohost France beat Belarus 4-3 in Paris in Group B, and Denmark defeated co-host Germany 3-2 in Cologne in Group A.
The top four from each group advance to the quarterfinals on Thursday in each city.