Alex Pietrangelo's goal 4:14 into overtime Tuesday gave Canada a 4-3 win over Switzerland at the IIHF World Championships in Kosice, Slovakia, and ensured that Canada will finish in the top spot in Group B.
"We knew they were going to come out and play really hard and physically," Canadian alternate captain Dion Phaneuf told the IIHF website. "They're fast and they can score. It's a big win for our team. We gave up a little more than we would have liked."
Pietrangelo had two shots at the winner, getting his first shot blocked by defenseman Luca Sbisa but getting the puck back and firing it past Swiss goalie Leonardo Genoni.
"The guy took a shot and it hit a stick and then he got it back and put it in on the short side," said Genoni, in his first World Championship start. "I played it defensively and was too far back in my net."
Canada improved to eight points in Group B while Switzerland finished with six points.
"We gave up that late goal and we weren't happy about that," Phaneuf said. "But to respond and come back and win the game showed good character."
Germany 3, Slovenia 2
Frank Hordler provided the decisive shootout goal in Bratislava, Slovakia, as Germany started the World Championship with three consecutive wins for the first time in 81 years and made it to the Qualification Round of the tournament with six points.
The Germans rallied from a two-goal deficit as Michael Wolf scored a power-play goal late in the second period and Felix Schutz beat Robert Kristan early in the third to force overtime.
Kevin Lavallee and Rok Ticar had the goals for Slovenia while Kristan turned in a heroic effort in a losing cause, stopping 58 shots.
Russia 4, Slovakia 3
Russia assured itself of finishing second in Group A when Alexei Morozov swatted a bouncing puck behind Slovakian goaltender Jaroslav Halak at 3:38 of the third period to break a 3-3 tie in Bratislava
It's the first time the Russians haven't finished first in their Preliminary Round group since 2005, when they came second to Slovakia.
France 2, Belarus 1 (OT)
Kévin Hecquefeuille scored 46 seconds into to overtime in Kosice give France a berth in the Qualification Round and drop Belarus into the Relegation Round.
Hecquefeuille was left alone in the slot and drilled a hard shot past Andrei Mezin for the victory, which was made possible by goaltender Cristobal Huet. He made 37 saves, including one on a third-period penalty shot.
Sacha Treille scored a power-play goal for the French midway through the first period, and Huet made the lead stand up until Sergei Demagin banged in the deflection of a blocked shot with 4:28 remaining in regulation.