Switzerland wastes lead before beating Slovenia in shootout

PARIS (AP) Co-host Germany came crashing back to earth at the ice hockey world championship by losing to Sweden 7-2 on Saturday, the day after upsetting the United States.

The Germans were brimming with confidence from beating the Americans 2-1 and this match was well poised at 2-2 early into the second period in Cologne. But 2013 champion Sweden - which lost to Russia in overtime on Friday - stepped up a gear to move top of Group A.

Center William Nylander atoned for missing in the shootout loss to Russia with two goals and an assist; while left winger Gabriel Landeskog had a goal and two assists in a captain's performance for nine-time champion Sweden.

Meanwhile, the Czech Republic bounced back from a heavy opening loss to defending champion Canada by routing Belarus 6-1.

After losing 4-1 to Group B rival Canada on Friday, the 2010 champion Czechs were in rampant form.

Forwards Petr Vrana, Roman Cervenka and Jakub Voracek all netted while the other goals were scored by defensemen Radko Gudas, Radim Simek and Michal Kempny. It was a second straight loss for Belarus.

Also in Group B, veteran left winger Patrick Thoresen starred with two goals and an assist as Norway downed co-host France 3-2 in Paris. Center Stephane Da Costa scored both French goals.

Switzerland blew a 4-0 lead before scraping past Slovenia 5-4 in a shootout.

The Swiss, beaten finalists in 2013, struck a four-goal salvo in the first period, with Andres Ambuhl, Gaetan Haas, Romain Loeffel and Simon Bodenmann scoring.

Slovenia pulled goaltender Gasper Kroselj and replaced him with Matija Pintaric and clawed its way back with a goal from right winger Jan Mursak midway through a feisty second period. Winger Robert Sabolic went on to level the score late on.

After overtime failed to separate the sides, Swiss forward Damien Brunner scored the first and only goal in the shootout, with the next two Swiss players failing to score. Rok Ticar, Sabolic and Mursak were those to miss for Slovenia.

Also in Group A, Slovakia equalized with one minute left and defenseman Peter Ceresnak scored in overtime to top Italy 3-2. Latvia beat Denmark 3-0.

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