Hockey: Czechs face Slovakia in first match at Worlds

The Czech national hockey team takes on former compatriots Slovakia on Friday in their opening match at the Ice Hockey World Championships in Minsk, Belarus. The Czechs, in Group A, then face Sweden on Sunday and Canada the beginning of the week. The team’s coach, Vladimír Růžička, stressed it was important the team got off to a good start since it would only be facing theoretically ‘weaker’ teams later in the tournament. Legendary forward Jaromír Jágr said he expected Friday’s match against Slovakia to be a tough one.