Swiss thrash Italy, Britain also beaten

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Switzerland dismantled newly promoted Italy 9-0 in the IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship on Saturday, while fellow new boys Great Britain were also beaten.

Italy and Britain were promoted from Division I last year but both came up short in their opening matches in the top tier, with the former, up against the Swiss, last year's runners-up, completely outclassed.

The Minnesota Wild's Kevin Fiala scored twice for Switzerland, with captain Raphael Diaz encouraged by their continued high standards throughout the game.

"I think we knew after 4-0 we had to keep going," he said. "We had to keep pressing, keep playing our game, keep hitting, keep shooting, those small details."

Meanwhile, Britain went down 3-1 to Germany after holding their opponents scoreless until the 40th minute.

The Czech Republic had upset holders Sweden on the opening day and were comfortable against Norway, winning 7-2.

Hosts Slovakia, who enjoyed a similarly impressive first-game defeat of the United States, came up short against Finland in the final game of the day, losing 4-2.

Denmark needed a shoot-out to beat France in Group A, while Latvia eased past Austria 5-2.