Sun, May 12, 2019 - Page 11 News List

Slovakia stuns US in world hockey tournament opener

AP, KOSICE, Slovakia

The Czech Republic’s Dominik Kubalik, center, and Jan Kovar, top left, scramble in front of Sweden’s goal in their Ice Hockey World Championships Group B match on Friday in Bratislava, Slovakia.

Photo: Reuters

Matus Sukel on Friday scored early in the first period as Slovakia went on to beat the US 4-1 on home ice, a stunning result on the opening day of the Ice Hockey World Championship.

Alex DeBrincat had a goal off assists from Patrick Kane and Jack Eichel to pull the US into a tie midway through the period in the Group A game, but they could not score again against Patrik Rybar.

Erik Cernak and Tomas Tatar put Slovakia up 3-1 in the second period and Michal Kristof gave them a three-goal cushion in the third.

Corey Schneider made 32 saves for the US, who are to face France today.

In Bratislava in Group B, the Czech Republic beat Sweden 5-2. Jakub Vrana scored twice for the Czech Republic against the two-time defending champions.

Patric Hornqvist and Oskar Lindblom scored in the second period to give Sweden a 2-1 lead. The Czech Republic responded with four straight goals, including one into an empty net after Henrik Lundqvist was pulled to add an extra skater.

Czech goaltender Patrik Bartosak kept Sweden scoreless in two of three periods in his world championship debut.

Earlier in Group A in Kosice, Kaapo Kakko scored twice, including an empty-net goal with 34 seconds left, to lift Finland to a 3-1 victory over Canada.

Arttu Ilomaki had a tiebreaking goal early in the third period and Kevin Lankinen finished with 20 saves for Finland.

Canada’s Jonathan Marchessault tied the game midway through the first period and Matt Murray stopped 24 shots.

Canada, who won the championship in 2015 and 2016, opened the tournament a day after Hockey Canada and the Toronto Maple Leafs agreed to hold John Tavares out because of his oblique injury.

In the Group B opener in Bratislava, Russia got off to a strong start with Evgeny Dadonov scoring twice and Nikita Kucherov adding one in a 5-2 victory over Norway.

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