Next up on Tuesday, Ukraine will face Estonia, Italy will play Croatia and hosts Slovenia take on Poland.
ESTONIA 1, ITALY 5Four power-play goals set Italy off to a comfortable start on Day 1 of the tournament.
With the Italians holding on to a 2-0 lead, a Marek Potsinok wrister on the power-play got Estonia back into the game at 24:15. But recurring Baltic penalty trouble proved costly against an Italian team with fine offensive qualities. At 31:33 Alan Lobis tipped home his second of the afternoon to restore Italy´s two-goal cushion.
Tommaso De Luca then stretched the lead to 4-1 before the end of the middle frame.
Fjodor Aganezovs was in fine form in Estonia´s goal and enjoyed 43 saves. But could do little as a cross-ice pass from Olmo Pietro Albis found Tommy Purdeller who closed the scoring for Italy with 3:40 left of the game.
POLAND 1, UKRAINE 5Five different scorers were on target for Ukraine in their clash against neighbours Poland.
With the game opening up during the third frame, defensive-minded blueliner Volodomyr Troshkin joined in on a rare attack to net Ukraine´s vital 3-0 goal past Igor Tyczynski at 41:44.
Second placed last year at this level, Ukraine were out of sight when Olexi Yevtiekhov´s netted 4-0 with a backhanded effort from close range at 46:03. Poland´s defensive frailties were once again exposed when Mykyta Sydorenko unchallenged dispatched Ukraine´s fifth goal at 57:11.
Poland´s debutant Mateusz Siekierka steered home a late consolation with 2:26 left to ruin Hlib Artsatbanov´s shutout bid.
CROATIA 0, SLOVENIA 7A middle-frame four-goal explosion against newly promoted Croatia got the hosts off to a comfortable start in Ice Arena Bled. Nace Langus and Mai Crnkic both enjoyed three-point nights for Slovenia.
The next-door neighbours most recently locked horns at this level in World Championship play 13 years ago in a game played at the same venue.
Eager to move straight back up to Division 1A, Slovenia held a slender one goal lead heading into the first intermission. Croatia´s captain Tin Alic sat out a minor penalty when Crnkic scored with a deflected one-timer.
Barely had the puck been dropped for the second period before Slovenia capitalized with Langus poaching on a rebound. Three goals then followed in less than three minutes. Anze Zezelj first hit home another rebound, Langus scored his second on the powerplay before a shorthanded Tian Hebar goal saw Slovenia race into an unassailable 5-0 lead after 31.53.
Mark Sever and Hebar then added another two goals as netminder Lan Kavcic celebrated a shutout in his World Championship debut at this level.