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Rinne sets World Championship record in Finland win

by Staff /

Pekka Rinne (Nashville Predators) broke the record for longest shutout streak at the World Championship and Finland defeated Belarus 3-2 in a shootout in a Group B preliminary-round game at the 2015 IIHF World Championship played at CEZ Arena in Ostrava, Czech Republic.

Evgeni Kovyrshin's goal 5:09 into the third period was the first allowed by Rinne in 237:05, breaking the post-war mark of 206:26 set by Slovakia's Jan Lasak in 2004.

"Rinne has been unbelievable," Finland captain Jussi Jokinen (Florida Panthers) told the IIHF website. "Playing the way he has gives our team so much confidence. We will need him for sure the rest of the way."

Rinne made 23 saves in regulation and overtime, and made one save in the shootout. Joonas Donskoi scored the winning goal in the shootout and scored in regulation. Teemu Hartikanen also scored for Finland (4-1-0-1), which moved into a tie for second in Group B with Russia with 14 points. Finland and Russia will play Tuesday, the final day of preliminary-round play.

Kovyrshin and Alexei Kalyuzhny scored for Belarus, and goaltender Vitali Koval made 23 saves. Belarus (3-2-0-1) is fourth in Group B with 11 points. The top four teams from each group advance to the quarterfinals, which start Thursday. Belarus needs one point against Norway on Tuesday to clinch fourth place in the group.

Hartikainen's goal with 7:09 remaining in the third period gave Finland a 2-1 lead but Kalyuzhny's goal from the right faceoff circle with 29 seconds remaining tied the game.

After a scoreless overtime, Jarkko Immonen, Donskoi and Jokinen scored in the shootout for Finland.

Slovenia 1, Denmark 0: Ziga Pance scored 10 minutes into the first period and goaltender Gasper Kroselj made 24 saves to help Slovenia win its first game of the tournament (1-0-0-6) in a Group B preliminary-round game at CEZ Arena in Ostrava, Czech Republic.

Anze Kopitar (Los Angeles Kings) had an assist on the goal. He was a plus-1 in 24:31 of ice time.

Goaltender Sebastian Dahm made 20 saves for Denmark (1-0-1-5), which finished seventh in Group B with four points.

The win was Slovenia's first at the top level of the World Championship since defeating Latvia in the relegation round in 2011. Slovenia, which finished eighth in Group B with three points, will be relegated to Division I for the 2016 World Championship.

Sweden 4, France 2: Filip Forsberg (Nashville Predators) scored two goals and defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson (Arizona Coyotes) had a goal and two assists for Sweden in a Group A preliminary-round game at O2 Arena in Prague.

Jacob Josefson (New Jersey Devils) also scored for Sweden and goaltender Jhonas Enroth (Dallas Stars) made 15 saves.

Ekman-Larsson's three points gave him a tournament-best 11.

Damien Fleury scored for France (1-0-0-5). Goaltender Cristobal Huet made 37 saves.

With the win, Sweden (4-2-0-1, 16 points) clinched second place in Group A and will play the third-place team in Group B on Thursday in the quarterfinals.

"Obviously we're happy with the three points today," Josefson told the IIHF website. "We finished second in the group here. It's a good job by the guys and we're really looking forward to the quarterfinals."

France, eighth in Group A with three points, plays seventh-place Latvia on Tuesday. The loser of that game will be relegated to Division I for the 2016 World Championship.

Austria 3, Germany 2 (SO): Dominique Heinrich and Konstantin Komarek scored in the shootout to lead Austria in a Group A preliminary-round game at O2 Arena in Prague.

Thomas Raffl and Rafael Rotter scored in regulation for Austria (0-2-1-3, five points). Goaltender Bernhard Starkbaum made 15 saves.

Michael Wolf and Patrick Reimer scored for Germany (2-0-1-4, seven points). Goaltender Dennis Endras made 31 saves.

Austria, sixth in Group A, plays Canada on Tuesday. Germany's tournament is over.

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