Victories by Canada and Finland in Sunday's early games at the World Junior Championship have clarified the qualification picture just a bit.
Canada held off the United States in a much-anticipated Group B showdown, using the heroics of goalie Malcolm Subban to claim a 2-1 win Sunday. In Group A, Finland erased two two-goal deficits against Switzerland to claim a 5-4 victory in a shootout. Markus Granlund had two goals in regulation and the winning shot in the shootout, which went five rounds deep.
Canada's victory gives the Canadians a temporary hold on the top spot in Group B and assures them of a place in the medal round, which begins Jan. 2. Canada is the only team left in the tournament with a perfect record, 3-0-0-0 for nine points.
On Sunday, the Canadians play the host Russians, who have eight points from three games. Russia needed overtime to beat Slovakia. The winner of the Russia-Canada game (9 a.m., NHLN-US) will earn the top seed from Group B and a bye into the semifinals. The loser will have to play in the quarterfinals on Wednesday.