A nervy 3-2 penalty shootout against the unfancied Belarus, pushed Finland into second place in group B of the current World Hockey Championships, tied with Russia, and within a point of group leaders USA.
Joonas Donskoi and Teemu Hartikainen scored within a minute during the last period to put the Finns ahead, but Belarus forced a shoot out with a goal from Alexei Kalyuzhny with just 31 seconds to go.
Jarkko Immonen, Joonas Donskoi and captain Jussi Jokinen each put the puck away to secure victory. Of his goalie, Finland forward Tuomo Ruutu said, “He is a top notch goaltender and one of the best, if not the best in the game.”
Belarus can still join the other three teams in progressing to the knock-out round if they bear Norway shortly.
Meanwhile, in the other group, Canada, Sweden, the Czech Republic and Switzerland advance to the next round, after qualifying in that order, with plucky Austria falling short, despite a 3-2 win over Germany.
Canada appear the form team, beating all-comers and amassing 18 points with a game in hand, while the best of the A group only has 15 points.