QUEBEC – Unbeaten Russia got first-period goals from Dmitry Kalinin, Alexander Ovechkin and Maxim Sushinsky and went on to defeat Switzerland 5-3 on Monday at the IIHF World Hockey Championship.
Russia finished first in its group and dropped Switzerland to fourth place, so the two teams will meet again in the quarter-finals. The second-place Czech Republic will meet third-place Sweden in the other quarter-final in Quebec City on Wednesday.
Switzerland, which did not get a shot on goal until 10:07 into the game, trailed 4-0 going into the third period, but then got early goals from Rafaele Sannitz and Julien Vauclair to keep it close.
The Russians dazzled with their quick puck movement and precision passing for two periods, penetrating a Swiss defensive wall that often had five players clogging the neutral zone. Russia had a 37-22 shot advantage overall before 8,286 at the Pepsi Colisee.
Kalinin crept in from the point to convert a nice cross-ice feed from Danis Zaripov at 15:21. Ovechkin tipped Ilya Kovalchuk’s point shot in from the slot on a power play at 17:49 and Sushinsky breezed past defenceman Beat Forster and beat Anaheim Ducks goalie Jonas Hiller at 18:45.
Sergei Fedorov scored with Alexander Semin standing in Hiller’s crease 10:27 into the second frame.
The Swiss played a more aggressive game in the third and Sannitz scored on his team’s first power play chance 32 seconds in on a point blast that sailed past Evgeny Nabokov. Then Vauclair made an end-to-end rush short-handed and beat Nabokov with an off-wing wrist shot at 5:30.
Hiller was pulled for an extra attacker with three minutes left to play and Sushinsky got his second of the game into the empty net at 17:25. One minute later, Romano Lemm banged in a goal for the Swiss on a feed from Andres Ambuhl.
United States 9 Norway 1
At Halifax, the United States wrapped up its qualifying round schedule with a 9-1 rout of Norway.
New York Rangers forward Brandon Dubinsky had a hat trick as the Americans scored three times in each period to bury the overmatched Norwegians.
With the win, the U.S. (3-2) locked up third place in Pool F while Norway fell to 1-4.