OTTAWA - Nikita Filatov scored three goals in the first half of the game Tuesday as Russia remained perfect at the world junior hockey championship with an 8-1 win over Slovakia.
Filatov opened the scoring at 2:12 of the first period and then scored power-play goals at 4:29 and 9:15 of the second to give the Russians leads of 4-1 and 6-1. He later added a third-period assist.
Defenceman accounted for three of the other five Russian goals with Maxim Goncharov scoring twice and Igor Golovkov once. The Golovkov marker chased Zdenko Kotvan from the Slovakia net after he allowed five goals on 17 shots just nine minutes into the second period. Jaroslav Janus finished the game stopping 11 of 14 shots.
Sergei Andronov had a goal and three assists while Sergei Korostin had the game's final goal. Maxim Chudinov had four assists for Russia who are 3-0-0 in Group B play and will face Sweden (3-0-0) Wednesday afternoon. The winner will win the group and advance directly to the semifinals on Saturday while the loser will play a quarter-final match Friday.
Adam Bezak was the only Slovak to beat Russian goalie Vadim Zhelobnyuk who finished the game with 26 saves. Bezak scored at 13:12 of the opening period to tie the game 1-1.
The Slovaks (1-2-0) will play their final game of the preliminary round Wednesday against Finland, who were 0-2-0 heading into their game against Latvia on Tuesday night.
In Tuesday's later games, the Czech Republic faces Germany while the United States plays Kazakhstan.
Should the Finns defeat the Latvians, then Wednesday's meeting will determine the third seed in Group B and a trip to the quarter-finals. The losing team will move onto the relegation round.
The second period was definitely the better of the three for Russia as they scored four times to break the game open.
Filatov scored twice while and Golovkov had added one. Filatov and Goncharov sandwiched first-period goals around the lone Slovakian tally by Bezak.
Russia went into the third period with a 6-1 lead and seemed satisfied to run out the third period as they had just three shots through the opening 15 minutes. Andronov and Korostin scored in the dying minutes to conclude a seemingly easy game for the Russians.