Swedes and Czechs skate to victory
Sweden hammered Austria 7-1 and the Czech Republic beat Denmark 5-0 on Saturday evening at the Ice Hockey World Championship in Switzerland.
The defending Olympic champions took an early 3-0 lead with Kenny Johsson striking at the 1:37 mark in the first period in Bern, beating Austrian goalie Bernd Bruckler. Defenseman Magnus Johansson added a goal at 11:49, followed by Marcus Nilson 57 seconds later.
Sweden, ranked third in the world, managed to hold 16th-ranked Austria scoreless for almost 12 minutes in the second period before Martin Oraze fired a slapshot to score Austria's only goal. He was assisted by Thomas Koch.
The third period saw Sweden pour it on. Mattias Weindhandl beat Bruckler 1:22 into the final 20 minutes. Weinhandl scored again at the 47-minute mark, followed just over two minutes later by teammate Johan Harju.
Sweden's Loui Eriksson beat Bruckler again at 49:46 to bring the score to 7-1.
Swedish goalie Johan Holmqvist made 27 saves over 60 minutes versus 31 for Austria's Bruckler.
Sweden are waiting to add to their roster as teams are knocked out of the National Hockey League's Stanley Cup playoffs.
Both teams will play again on Monday in Bern. Sweden face off against Latvia and Austria will play the United States.
In Zurich, Jaroslav Hlinka of the fifth-ranked Czech Republic opened that country's game against 13th-ranked Denmark with a goal at 6:09 in the first period.
Denmark managed to hold off the Czechs for another 25 minutes before Jan Marek beat Danish goalie Patrick Galbraith 35:18 into the game.
Ales Hemsky added another goal on a power play just over two minutes later. He was assisted by Petr Cajanek and former NHL great Jaromir Jágr.
Jágr, who plays for Siberian-based Avangard Omsk of the Kontinental Hockey League, added to two previous assists with his own goal in the third period, at 50:46, with help from Cajanek.
Czech goalie Jakub Stepanek finished the shut-out game with 21 saves. Denmark's Galbraith stopped 40 pucks.
The Czechs play Norway on Monday in Zurich and Denmark face Finland.
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