Finland records 4th win in Hockey World Championships Day 6
The Finns beat Hungary 3-0 at St. Petersburg's Yubileiny Ice Palace and have moved to the top of Group B, ahead of the highly fancied Canada.
After a goalless first period, goals from Atee Ohtamaa, Mikko Koivu and Aleksander Barkov ensured Finland continued their perfect start to the tournament.
The big test for Kari Jalonen’s men will come on May 17 when they face Canada in what could be a winner-takes-the-group fixture.
Hungary on the other hand have lost all four of their clashes so far and are rooted to the bottom of Group B, scoring only four goals to date and conceding 20.
In the other clash in Finland’s pool, Belarus got off the mark with their first victory of the championships, beating 2002 champions Slovakia 4-2.
The Slovaks have only won against Hungary and France so far, and were looking for victory over Belarus scoring two goals in the second period.
However, Belarus rallied in the third period and were good value for their win after four unanswered goals from Kiril Gotovets, Artur Gavrus, Andrei Stepanov and Charles Linglet.
Belarusian coach Dave Lewis praised his side after the victory.
"This match was the most important for us at the World Championships so far," he said.
"We have a very hard schedule but that is no excuse and now we have no other choice but to keep on winning from one match to another."
In Group A, Sweden made a big statement in beating Kazakhstan 7-3 to leapfrog Russia and move level on points with pool leaders the Czech Republic.
The Scandinavians were always in control, with Detroit Red Wings winger Gustav Nyquist netting a hat-trick in his team’s victory.
Finally, Switzerland and Latvia played out a nine-goal thriller, with the former claiming a slender victory.
Following a goalless first period, each side struck three times in the second period to capture the imagination of the Moscow crowd at the VTB Ice Palace.
Switzerland closed out their 5-4 win in the final period, with Eric Blum again his country’s savior by scoring the winner with 90 seconds remaining.
Thursday’s action sees Russia back on the ice, with the competition hosts facing Denmark and looking to make it three wins in a row.
The Czech Republic will face Norway in the other Group A clash, while team United States is in desperate need of a win against France in Group B.
The action concludes with Canada taking on Germany, with the North American side fancied to record another win.