Jyri Niemi had 2 goals and 2 assists to lead Finland to a 10-1 drubbing of Austria Wednesday at the World Junior Championship, at Regina, Sask.
Mikael Granlund, the NHL Central Scouting's top-rated skater from Finland for the 2010 Entry Draft, had a goal and 3 assists. He had just 1 assist in the team's first two games.
Finland scored five times in the first period and got the game's first seven goals. The win almost certainly clinches third place in Group B and a spot in the quarterfinals for the Finns. They play Sweden on Thursday, and a win or Czech Republic loss to Russia gets them to the knockout round. Last year Finland lost in a shootout to Slovakia in the final quarterfinal game to fall to relegation play.
In the other game Wednesday, Switzerland scored four times in the third period to survive against Latvia, 7-5.
Switzerland took a 2-0 lead in the first five minutes of the game, but Latvia answered with three goals -- including two by Ronalds Kenins -- in a 4:43 span midway through the first to take a 3-2 lead.
The teams traded goals in the second period, but Switzerland pressed the action in the third. Nino Niederreiter, one of NHL Central Scouting's top-rated players in its preliminary ranking of Western Hockey League skaters, scored a power-play goal to tie the game 4:42 into the third, and 44 seconds later, Tim Weber scored the winner for Switzerland.
The win sets up a winner-take-all match for third place in Group A and a spot in the quarterfinals Thursday between Switzerland and Slovakia.
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