Defending champion Russia beat Belarus 3-1 to sweep all three of its group matches at the IIHF World Hockey Championship on Thursday.
Alex Ovechkin scored his third goal of the tournament, and Sergei Mozyakin and Artyom Anisimov also hit the back of the net as Russia jumped ahead 3-0 after 35 minutes. Goalie Semyon Varlamov saved 19 shots in his first action for Russia.
Alexei Kalyuzhny scored in the final period for Belarus.
Slovakia was facing Kazakhstan later Thursday with a chance to secure second place in Group A and a spot in the second round.
In Group C action, Norway fell behind 1-0 before scoring five unanswered goals for a 5-1 victory over France.
Stephane Da Costa's power-play goal gave France a 1-0 lead in the first period. But Peter Lorentzen equalized and Patrick Thoresen added a goal and an assist in the Norway run.
Norway has six points and advanced to the second round.
France lost all three games and will challenge the United States, Italy and a third team against relegation.
The second Group C game has Sweden facing the Czech Republic.Report Typo/Error
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