Jussi Ahokas and Team Finland, The Canadian PressMONTREAL — Eeli Tolvanen and Aapeli Rasanen each had a goal and an assist as Finland responded to an in-tournament coaching change with a 2-0 victory over Switzerland on Saturday at the world junior hockey championship.
The Finns (0-1-3) outshot the Swiss 51-17 and Veini Vehvilainen got the shutout in their first win of the tournament.
Finland will face Latvia in a best-of-three relegation playoff starting Monday at Bell Centre. Switzerland (1-2-1) finished fourth in their round robin group.
It was a first game behind the bench for Finland coach Jussi Ahokas, who took over Friday night when Jukka Ruatakorpi was abruptly fired after his team was officially knocked to the bottom of the group with Switzerland's win over Denmark. Ahokas, who was in Montreal working as a television analyst, was already slated to take over as coach after the tournament.
Finland will play in the relegation round for the first time since the world juniors debuted in 1977. It had never before finished lower than seventh place in the tournament.
After outshooting Switzerland 17-8 in a scoreless first period, the Finns got on the board 4:35 into the second when Rasanen followed in to jam Tolvanen's rebound past Joren van Pottelberghe.
The Finns scored again on their fourth power play of the game as Tolvanen one-timed a feed from Vili Saarijarvi inside the near post at 13:53 of the second.
The Swiss barely touched the puck in the third as Finland closed out the win.