MALMO, Sweden — The Czech Republic clinched a spot in the quarter-finals with a 4-1 win over Slovakia at the world junior hockey championships Tuesday.
David Patrnak, Ondrej Kase, Petr Sidlik and Martin Prochazka scored for the Czechs, who got 31 saves from goalie Marek Langhamer.
"It’s Slovakia and against Czech, which is a great rivalry," said Sidlik. "They weren’t going to just let us win or play lightly. We started well, and came ready, so we played as we wanted."
Milan Kolena scored the lone goal for the Slovaks while Richard Sabol and Samuel Baros combined for 24 saves in goal.
The Czechs (1-1-0-2) will play the second place team from Group B on Thursday.
The Slovaks (1-0-0-3) dropped to fourth in their group and will have to play host Sweden in the quarter-finals.
The Czechs came flying out of the gate as Patrnak scored 18 seconds into the first.
"I think they had the better motivation because we didn’t have to win," said Slovak forward Martin Reway. "We didn’t work as hard as we should have, and they got a quick goal."