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Canada beats Finland, Switzerland beats Denmark at the men's ice hockey world championship

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Captain John Tavares prepared the winning goal with his second assist 8:28 minutes before the end

Defending champion Canada had to recover from an early scare before recording its fifth win in five games at the Ice Hockey World Cup with a 5-3 win over Finland on Saturday.

Captain John Tavares set up the winning goal with his second assist with 8:28 left in the final period when he hit Brandon Hagel at the left post, who shot into the open goal. It was only Canada's second shot on goal in that period.

Dawson Mercer ended the game with an empty net with 20 seconds left.

Canada joined Switzerland at the top of Group A and both secured a spot in the playoff round.

Also for Canada, Owen Power scored a goal and added two assists, Dylan Cozens had a goal and an assist and Brandon Tanev scored a goal. Jordan Binnington stopped 29 shots.

Jesse Puljujarvi led Finland with two goals and Valtteri Puustinen scored the other.

Canada trailed by two goals early in the first period after Finland scored in a span of 2:16. Puljujarvi scored a rebound in 1:35 and Puustinen doubled the lead on a power play.

Canada needed 97 seconds to reach 2nd place.

Andrew Mangiapane grabbed the puck from behind the net before passing it to Cozens, who netted it from the slot and into the net. Tavares then recovered the puck in his own half before running down the left side before feeding to Brandon Tanev, who scored the equalizer from the goal crease.

Sweden beat a 5-minute major before scoring three goals in 26 seconds in the middle period to pull away from Latvia with a 7-2 victory that secured their place in the playoff round.

The Swedes, who never trailed in the tournament, maintained their perfect record through five games and topped Group B.

Latvia even escaped with a 2-2 draw in the second game in Ostrava, but failed to capitalize after Rasmus Dahlin received a 5-minute major penalty and a game-misconduct penalty for attack. The defender scored Sweden's first goal in the first period.

Fabian Zetterlund then scored two goals within 17 seconds. Nine seconds later, center Joel Eriksson Ek scored to make it 5-2. Marcus Johansson scored one goal and two assists.

In Prague, Switzerland beat Denmark 8-0. Winger Kevin Fiala scored two goals and provided an assist.

Center Nico Hischier scored the first goal and added two assists, leaving the Danes in danger of not progressing.

In Group B, Germany beat winless Poland 4-2 and secured their fourth win.

Later in Group A, the Czech Republic faced Great Britain, winless but competitive and trying to avoid a last-place finish and relegation. France played against Slovakia.

The Associated Press