Swiss thrash Italy, Denmark beat France at ice hockey worlds

BRATISLAVA, Slovakia — Kevin Fiala scored a hat trick and added an assist as Switzerland thrashed Italy 9-0 in their first game at the world hockey championship on Saturday.

It was Switzerland’s biggest victory over Italy at the worlds.

Last year’s finalist, Switzerland, didn’t waste time and took control with four goals in the opening period in the Group B game in the Slovak capital of Bratislava.

Fiala opened the scoring with a backhand on a breakaway 77 seconds in, followed by Gregory Hofmann, Lino Martschini and Vincent Praplan.

Fiala added his second in the second period and completed his hat trick on a power play in the third.

Simon Moser, Romain Loeffel and Nico Hischier also scored.

Goaltender Reto Berra stopped 19 shots for the shutout.

In Group A in Kosice, Frederik Storm scored the winner for Denmark to prevail over France 5-4 in a penalty shootout.

Later, Britain returns to the top division after 25 years to open against Germany, while host Slovakia faces Finland also in Group A. In Group B, Latvia takes on Austria, and the Czech Republic plays Norway.

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