UTICA, N.Y. — Haley Winn scored two goals, captain Hilary Knight had a goal and an assist, and the United States started its title defense with a 4-0 win over Switzerland on Wednesday night in the IIHF women’s world championship.

Winn opened the scoring at 5:23 of the second period when she sent in a wrister from the point while Swiss goaltender Andrea Brändli was heavily screened. Winn added another with 5:19 remaining in the game by ripping a shot past Brändli.

Kendall Coyne Schofield, who sat out 2023 to give birth to her son Drew, scored her first international goal since 2022 to make it 2-0 on the 30th shot of the night for the U.S.

Knight, a nine-time world champion competing in her 14th tournament, tipped in a shot in front of the goal on a power play to put the U.S. ahead 3-0 with 9:13 remaining.

Aerin Frankel sealed it with an 11-save shutout.

Both teams play again on Friday. The U.S. will face the Czech Republic, while Switzerland has another tough test against Canada.

The defending champion Americans and Canadians are favored to play for gold on April 14 for what would be the 22nd time in 23 tournaments. The only exception came in 2019, when host team Finland upset Canada in the semifinals before losing a shootout to the Americans.

SWEDEN 3, DENMARK 1

Felizia Wikner Zienkiewicz scored the opening goal of the tournament — the first of two for Sweden in the second period — when she sent the puck over Emma-Sofie Nordstrom's glove on a breakaway.

Lina Ljungblom put Sweden ahead 2-0 with a one-timer shot — on one knee — that blasted past Nordstrom. Josefin Bouveng extended Sweden’s lead with a wrap-around goal that banked off Nordstrom.

Nordstrom faced 39 shots on goal. Denmark did not have a shot on goal in the second period and finished with just five.

Denmark captain Nicoline Jensen capitalized on a misplayed puck by Emma Soderberg and sent it into an empty net midway through the third.

Denmark will try to rebound against Germany on Thursday. Sweden's next game is on Friday against China.

The Swedes haven’t medaled since 2007.

CZECH REPUBLIC 4, FINLAND 0

Fast-rising Czech Republic — winners of the past two bronze medals — have now won the last three games in the rivalry with Finland.

Czech Republic also scored two goals in the second period to break a scoreless tie. Adela Sapovalivova, a 17-year-old, scored her sixth career goal in the tournament and Klara Hymlarova knocked in her own rebound past a sprawling goalie to make it 2-0.

Finland coach Juuso Toivola pulled his goalie with nearly four minutes left in the third, and Natalie Mlynkova and Tereza Plosova each scored an empty-net goal.

Czech Republic goalie Klára Peslarová, who missed all of last season with a knee injury, stopped 21 shots for the shutout.

The Finns are back on the ice on Thursday against Canada.

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