Canada made it five wins from five with an emphatic 5-0 victory over Slovakia at the ice hockey world championships on Saturday.
Derick Brassard and Taylor Hall continued their excellent tournaments, both scoring, while goaltender Cam Talbot stopped 18 shots to earn his second shutout of the event.
Canada are equal top of Group B with Finland, the only other team in the competition still with a perfect record.
The Finns were pushed harder than they might have expected against a dogged French side, but eventually triumphed 3-1, despite their early start just after noon.
“12:15 games are not so easy,” Finnish head coach Kari Jalonen told the International Ice Hockey Federation’s (IIHF) website.
“They are not common in ice hockey. Our team did well in preparing for the game to play at a top level. The first two periods we were playing well at both ends of the ice. Our penalty kill did well for us when we needed it in the third period.”
Rounding off the action in Group B, Hungary made history by claiming their first victory at the world championships in 77 years, beating Belarus 5-2 to move off the bottom.
“I got goosebumps right now,” said Hungary forward Csanad Erdely. “This is a great feeling that we can give a little back to the fans.”
Meanwhile in Group A, Russia notched their fourth straight win when they beat Switzerland 5-1, as Yevgeni Kuzentsov and Alexander Ovechkin both made their tournament debuts.
“It was a tough game,” said Ovechkin, who joined the Russian team after his club team, the Washington Capitals, were eliminated from the National Hockey League playoffs.
“For a long time we couldn’t get a goal even though we had lots of chances. But, thank God, we won.”
Sweden survived a scare as they managed edge Norway 3-2 and Latvia earned an important 2-1 win against Kazakhstan at the bottom of the table.
The Czech Republic lead Group B with 14 points, followed by Russia (12) and Sweden (11).
(Reporting By Dmitriy Rogovitskiy; Editing by Andrew Both)
Source: Reuters Sports