Czech Republic v Slovakia | HIGHLIGHTS | Ostersund 2017

Czech Republic 5-0 Slovakia

The Czech Republic were too fast, too skilled and simply too much for Slovakia. Winners of the 2016 World Championships B-Pool, the Czechs got off to a flying start thanks to early scoring from Zdenek Safranek and Pavel Kubes.

Safranek found the net less than two minutes into the game thanks to a feed from David Palat. It was not long until Kubes recorded one of his own, and later in the period found himself alone for an easy score to give his team a 3-0 cushion to close the first period; he finished the game with a hat-trick.

“I’m really happy to score three goals but for me it doesn’t matter because more important it was teamwork and a team win,” Kubes said. “For my three goals, I got three really good passes to score, so it was not difficult to put them in.”

The Czechs overwhelmed the Slovak defense with 30 shots on goal compared to 20 in the first period alone, and the Slovakian side struggled to get any offense going. They missed an opportunity in the early minutes of the second period with a scramble in front of the Czech net, but Michal Vapenka bodied the puck to stop the play.

Although the game was already in the bag for the Czech Republic up 4-0 in the third period, Slovakia blew their best opportunity to avoid a shutout with a two-on-one play. But again, Vapenka helped keep the Slovakian side scoreless.

“We are very glad that our performance was like how we had trained in the off-season,” Kubes said. “We showed that on the ice today.

“We just want to focus on ourselves and just show the same performance as we did today. It’s going to be a harder game [against Germany on Wednesday].”