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Sunday, 10 February, 2002, 03:35 GMT

Germans upset Slovakia

Germany made an impressive start to their men's ice hockey campaign by beating Slovakia 3-0 in a preliminary round on Saturday.

Jan Benda and Jurgen Rumrich scored crucial second period goals as the Germans became front-runners to advance from their four-team pool into final round play.

Klaus Kathan added a late empty-net goal to finish off the emphatic win in Group A.

But it was a disappointing loss for Slovakia, who have the most NHL players available of the eight preliminary round teams.

In Group B, Oleg Mikulchik scored during a two-man advantage with 12:11 to play as Belarus beat Ukraine 1-0.

Elswhere, Latvia beat Austria 4-2 in their first Olympic ice hockey appearance for 66 years, while Switzerland were held to a surprise 3-3 draw against France in the final clash of the day.


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