Konstantin Komarek scores the vital shootout goal as Austria edged Switzerland ©AFP/Getty Images

Austria produced the shock result today at the World Ice Hockey Championships, winning a decisive shootout over neighbours Switzerland in Ostrava on a day where Germany, Slovakia and Belarus were other winners.

Despite being considered underdogs against the 2013 world silver medallists, Austria's Thomas Raffl found the net to bring the scores level in the final minute of regulation time, to force an overtime period which produced plenty of customary thrills and spills.

And after several misses, Konstantin Komarek finally shot on target to give the Austrians a perfect start in their unlikely quest to win a first World Championship medal since 1947, when they took bronze in an event which was held in Prague. 

"We were just calm," the winning goalscorer said afterwards.

"We knew that if we played well defensively, we’d get the chances offensively.

"We played a good game offensively, It was really nice for us to go into overtime and then in the shootout, everything can happen.

"Fortunately, it ended in our favour."

Slovakia celebrate after their narrow victory over Denmark ©Getty Images
Slovakia celebrate after their narrow victory over Denmark ©Getty Images

Elsewhere, 2012 silver medallists Slovakia enjoyed a strong start today with a 4-3 victory over Denmark while Germany were pushed even harder before edging out France, 2-1. 

In a tense clash between the co-hosts of the 2017 IIHF World Championship, Patrick Reimer's scored from a power play with just 59 seconds left to break French hearts.

Last year's hosts Belarus were the most comfortable winners of the day, emerging triumphant 4-2 over Slovenia. 

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