Russia has won its third straight game at the World Ice Hockey Championships in Riga, Latvia, while Ukraine topped Italy to advance to the second round.
Alexei Mikhnov's power-play goal six minutes into the third period Wednesday clinched Russia's 4-3 win over Slovakia, as well as the top spot in Group C. Russia opens second round play against Ukraine Thursday while host-Latvia faces Canada.
In Group B, Ukraine got goals from four different players in a 4-2 win over Italy to earn its spot in the tournament's second round.
Italy was down 3-1 when it was awarded a power play with less than five minutes remaining in regulation. Italy coach Michel Bernard Goulet gambled by pulling its goalie in favor of a six-to-four man advantage. The move paid off when Italy scored to make it 3-2. But Ukraine added an empty net goal to make the final 4-2.
Some information for this report was provided by AP.