Russia, Canada & Finland win again on Hockey World Championships Day 9
Following a disappointing opening day defeat to the Czech Republic, Russia has been on the march towards the knockout rounds and all but confirmed a place in the quarter-finals by defeating the Swiss at Moscow's Ice Palace.
Oleg Znarok’s men were coming off the back of hitting ten goals against Denmark and confidence was clearly high against Switzerland.
Ivan Telegin gave the competition hosts the lead after five minutes, while a second period effort from newly arrived Evgeny Kuznetsov gave the Russians some breathing space with a spectacular mid-air conversion.
It was not until the final 20 minutes that the victors hammered home their authority, with three goals from Telegin, Sergei Shirokov and Sergei Mozyakin confirming victory.
Alexander Ovechkin was making his tournament debut and said victory was the most important thing.
"It was a tough game,” he said.
"For a long time we couldn't get a goal even though we had lots of chances. But, thank God, we won."
Elsewhere in Group A, Sweden beat Scandinavian rivals Norway 3-2 and Latvia overcame Kazakhstan 2-1.
Sweden is only a point behind Russia after the win that came after an all-action third period in which both teams scored twice.
Latvia has a slim chance of qualification after beating basement dwellers Kazakhstan, coming back from a goal down to prevail 2-1.
In Group B, a powerful second period helped Finland to get a 3-1 win over France and extended their winning record to five games.
Goals from Esa Lindell, Aleksander Barkov and Patrik Laine in the space of nine minutes in second period gave the Finns the spoils.
Canada flexed their muscles by beating Slovakia 5-0, which put them on top of Group B on goal difference with an impressive 30:4.
Bill Peters’ men were always in the ascendancy from the moment Morgan Rielly opened the scoring after 11 minutes in the first period.
Additional goals from Matt Duchene, Taylor Hall, Mark Scheifele and Derick Brassard converted to give Canada victory, with the competition favorites having 33 shots compared to Slovakia’s 18.
Finally, Hungary claimed their first victory at the world championships in 77 years and did it in style, beating Belarus 5-2 to move off the bottom of Group B.
The score was locked at 2-2 in the second period, but three more goals helped the them make history.
In Sunday’s action, four matches will enthrall the crowds in Moscow and St Petersburg.
Group A leaders the Czech Republic will look to stretch their points advantage over Russia with a win against Denmark, while Switzerland entertain Sweden.
In Group B, the United States will take on Germany and Finland can retake top spot by overcoming Slovakia.
Russia returns to the ice on Monday against Norway.