Austria, Slovakia open ice hockey worlds with shootout wins
PRAGUE (AP) The United States made it two wins in two games by edging Norway 2-1 at the ice hockey world championship, and host the Czech Republic rebounded from a loss to Sweden with a 4-2 victory over Latvia on Saturday.
A first period goal by Trevor Lewis and Brock Nelson's score in the second rallied the U.S. after Morten Ask gave Norway a 1-0 lead on a rebound in a Group B match in Ostrava.
''The first period Norway carried the play,'' U.S. coach Todd Richards said. ''They were faster, battled better than us. We were fortunate to get out.''
In Group A in Prague, veteran Jaromir Jagr broke a 2-2 tie with a second period goal on a power play for his second goal in two games.
''I haven't noticed that,'' Jagr quipped, after a message on the giant video screen at O2 Arena noted he was the oldest scorer at the worlds at 43.
The Czechs pulled goalie Alexander Salak after he allowed Mikelis Redlihs' goal for Latvia's 2-1 lead at 3:18 in the second. Ondrej Pavelec took his position.
Captain Jakub Voracek made it 4-2 on a 5-3 advantage in the third.
''It's the first win of the tournament, it's always huge,'' Voracek said.
Of Jagr's goal, he added, ''That power play helped us. We know what to do on the power play. We didn't panic. We put a lot of shots on the net.''
Earlier, Austria and Slovakia needed penalty shootouts to win their opening games.
Germany struck late to edge France 2-1, and 2014 quarterfinalist Belarus beat Slovenia 4-2 to open their campaigns.
In Prague, Patrick Reimer scored the winner for Germany on a power play with one minute left in the final period.
''It was a tough piece of work today,'' forward Tobias Rieder said. ''We got the lead early but then kind of sit back. We're happy we got the win at the end.''
Captain Michael Wolf put Germany ahead with a first period goal, and that lead stood until Damien Fleury tied it at 1 midway through the third on a rebound.
In Ostrava, Andrei Stas, Andrei Kostitsyn and Alexei Kalyuzhny scored and Alexander Kitarov added one into an empty net for Belarus. Ziga Jeglic and and Ziga Pance scored for newcomer Slovenia.
Also, forward Marko Dano scored the decisive goal for Slovakia in the shootout to beat Denmark 4-3.
Denmark led 1-0 after two periods, then the teams traded five goals in the third. Slovakia took a 3-2 lead on goals from Michal Sersen, Marek Viedensky and Dominik Granak, but Daniel Nielsen forced overtime with a goal for Denmark with 2:14 to go in regulation.
''After their goal in the second period we started to play better,'' Slovakia coach Vladimir Vujtek said. ''We played some very good hockey from then until the end of the game. We had a lot of chances.''
Slovakia outshot Denmark 43-19.
In Group A, Konstantin Komarek scored the winner in the shootout to lift newcomer Austria 4-3 over Switzerland.
Switzerland, the 2013 runner-up, took the lead three times through goals from Felicien Du Bois, Andres Ambuhl and Matthias Bieber. But Austria answered each time, and forward Michael Raffl equalized with 50 seconds left in regulation to send the game into overtime.
''It's huge for us,'' Raffl said. ''People didn't give us a lot of chances to win against Switzerland. It feels pretty good.''
Austria goaltender Bernhard Starkbaum stopped 34 shots.