Dennis Rassmusen scored the winner into an empty net with 34 seconds remaining for Sweden to beat Latvia 5-4 at the ice hockey world championship on Monday.
Latvia needed a win in regulation to keep alive hopes for a quarterfinal spot in the Group B game in Bratislava. After Roberts Bukarts tied the game for Latvia at 4-all with 3:24 remaining in the final period to complete his hat trick, the Latvians pulled the goaltender for an extra attacker.
Latvia’s loss confirmed the four quarterfinalists from Group B: Leader Russia, the two-time defending champion Swedes and the Czech Republic, and Switzerland.
Elias Pettersson, Adrian Kempe, Anton Lander and Hornqvist had a goal each for the Swedes. William Nylander had two assists to lead the scoring table with 15 points.
In Group A in Kosice, Ben Davis scored 2:03 into overtime for Britain to complete an unlikely comeback and edge France 4-3 to avoid relegation at the expense of the French.
Britain’s return to the top division after 25 years looked short-lived after it was defeated in its previous six group games and was 3-0 down in the middle period.
The British fought back with a couple of goals from Robert Dowd and Mike Hammond still in the second frame. Robert Farmer tied it in the final frame, forcing overtime.
Canada plays Denmark in Group A later Monday, while Austria faces Italy in another relegation match on Group B.