By David Gold

Helge Bjornstad_26-03-12March 25 - Hosts Norway were stunned on the opening day of the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) Ice Sledge Hockey World Championships, as they were beaten 4-1 by South Korea.

The South Koreans were quick off the blocks, with Jong Kyung Lee scoring within a minute after latching onto Min Su Han's pass, before Jung Seung Hwan netted again within minutes to leave Norway facing an uphill task.

Helge Bjørnstad (pictured) struck to bring Norway back into it but Byeong Seok Cho and Jung both scored late on to emphasise the Korean superiority.

Reigning champions the United States beat Estonia 2-1 in a closely fought encounter in Hamar, coming from behind after Kaido Kalm had given the Europeans the lead.

Nikko Landeros equalised for the US to force extra time, and after a period of sustained pressure from the Americans, a shoot out was forced.

Taylor Lipsett was the only one of the six players to net during the shootout to ensure that the US got off to a winning start of their title defence.

The Czech Republic were also early winners at the championships, claiming a 2-0 win over Vancouver 2010 silver medallists Japan.

Michal Vapenka_26-03-12
Michal Vapenka (pictured) was in particularly impressive form for the Czechs in goal, stopping 15 efforts at goal, as Zdeněk Šafránek and Zdeněk Krupička guided them to an eventually comfortable victory.

The Czechs face the US in their next match.

Twice world champions Canada beat Italy 3-1 with Billy Bridges scoring twice and another coming from Brad Bowden, cancelling out an opening goal from Valerio Corvino.

In the next round of games, as well as the clash between the Czechs and the US, Japan will face Estonia, South Korea take on Canada and Norway will hope to get back on track against 2011 European champions Italy.

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