The first day of “Worlds” began on Friday with games going on in Bratislava and Košice, Slovakia. Capitals forward Jakub Vrana had the opening goal for the Czech Republic in the 2019 IIHF World Championship.
The Czechs faced Sweden for the second Group B face-off of the day. In his first game with the senior Czech team, Vrana scored the first goal of the game from a pass by forward Dominik Kubalik. Vrana beat Swedish goaltender Henrik Lundqvist 1:55 into the first, giving the Czech Republic a 1-0 lead.
Not even one minute into the second period, Sweden tied it up. Forward Patric Hornqvist got Team Sweden on the board, with assists from forwards William Nylander and Elias Pettersson.
Defensman Erik Gustafsson and forward Jesper Bratt assisted forward Oskar Lindblom’s goal that gave the Swedes a 2-1 lead, just three minutes later.
But the game was quickly tied once again. Kubalik scored from an assist by forward Jan Kovar with less than five minutes left in the second.
Thirty-three seconds into the third the Czechs regained the lead, this time for good. Forward Michael Frolik gave the national team the 3-2 lead after a crazy few seconds of rebounds in front of Sweden’s goal.
Sweden went down a man as defenseman Matthias Ekholm was called for cross-checking. Then defenseman Filip Hronek created 4-on-4 action when he was penalized for interference 18 seconds later.
Moments later, a filthy snipe by Vrana put the Czechs up 4-2 late in the third.
Kovar scored an empty net goal with under a minute remaining making it 5-2, which would be final.
By Della Young