BRATISLAVA, May 10 (Xinhua) -- Defending champions Sweden didn't register a good start at the men's ice hockey world championships, teeing off their Group B campaign with a 5-2 lose to Czech Republic here on Friday.
The 11-time world champions are looking to complete a hat trick in a row in Slovakia after having won the worlds in 2017 and 2018.
Their opening game rivals, however, didn't let the enthusiastic crowd in Bratislava wait long for the first goal as Jakub Vrana found the back of the net early in the first period, scoring the first championship goal of his career.
Sweden responded early in the second period when Hornqvist capitalized on his own rebound to tie the game and Gustaffson put them in the lead after a hard shot from the blue line during a powerplay.
"Man can withstand a lot, if he has a goal," stands written in the Czech's locker room and they did exactly that for the rest of the game.
Late in the second period, Dominik Kubalik evened up the score again, and early in the third, Michael Frolik put his team back in the lead 3-2.
The Czechs showed more activity and their efforts were rewarded when Vrana put in his second goal of the game that stretched the lead to 4-2.
The frustrated Swedes pulled their goalie at the end, but their opponents concluded the game with an empty-netter by Jan Kovar, 5-2.