Tomas Hertl scored twice as the Czech Republic opened the world junior hockey championship by blasting Denmark 7-0 on Tuesday.
Petr Holik, Dmitrij Jaskin, Tomas Filippi, Jiri Riha and Radek Faksa each had singles for the Czechs, while goaltender Petr Mrazek needed to make only 12 saves for the shutout.
“I’m very pleased to score my first two goals in the world junior championship, and I’m very happy that I could help my team,” Hertl said through a translator. “We knew we had to win and that’s what we did.”
The only previous meeting between the two teams was at the 2008 world juniors, a 5-2 win by the Czechs.
The Czechs started off slowly, scoring only once on Hertl’s deflection despite outshooting the Danes 16-2.
But Hertl and Faksa each scored in the second before the Czechs exploded with four goals in the third.
Sebastian Feuk stopped 37 shots for Denmark, which is off to an ugly start at the tournament after losing 11-3 to the United States on Monday.
The Czechs play Canada on Wednesday while Denmark has the day off before playing Canada on Thursday.
“Canada will play on home soil and the crowd will be behind them, but this shouldn’t distract us from trying to win as well,” Hertl said.
“We want to get to the final round, and then we will see how far we can get. The main thing is to make the final round.”