Team Canada didn't disappoint in front of a crowd at the Halifax Metro Centre on Monday that included Prime Minister Stephen Harper, cruising to the quarter-finals of the world hockey championships with an unbeaten mark intact.
Captain Shane Doan and Dany Heatley each scored twice in the 6-3 win over previously unbeaten Finland. Ryan Getzlaf had a goal and two assists, with Patrick Sharp scoring Canada's second short-handed goal of the game.
Rick Nash contributed three assists, while his Columbus Blue Jacket teammate Pascal Leclaire was sharp in net with 24 saves.
Antti Pihlstrom scored twice for Finland, with Tuomu Ruutu scoring in the game's final minute.
Canada took Group F with the victory, their sixth in a row, and will play in the quarter-finals on Wednesday in Halifax at 4:30 local time against Norway.
"We wanted to play well through our first six and get better every night," said Heatley. "I think we've done a pretty good job of that. Now we've got do-or-die here the next couple days."
Canada ran into a hot goalie in a 2-1 squeaker over Norway last week. Pal Grotnes finished with 50 saves for the Norwegians.
The Canadians struck just 33 seconds into the contest. Getzlaf scored his first of the tournament, assisted by Brent Burns and Rick Nash. The teams then exchanged short-handed markers before the end of the period, from Pihlstrom and Doan, respectively.
After Ville Peltonen hit the post for Finland behind Leclaire early in the second, Canada took control of the game.
Heatley moved into the slot to beat goaltender Nicklas Backstrom with a backhander at the 10:17 mark.
Just under eight minutes later Sharp sped down the right wing with Canada short-handed and found the back of the net with a snapshot. Sharp was tied for the NHL lead the past season with seven short-handed goals.
"Finland was really taking it to us at the beginning of the second, their quickness on the puck was a handful for us," said Hitchcock. "I thought once the third goal went it, we started to stabilize our game and it was a good sign."
Doan marked his second goal early in the third, both of which were assisted by Chris Kunitz. Doan's slapshot went off a Finnish defenceman's helmet and past a helpless Backstrom.
The teams each scored once more, with Heatley notching his tournament-leading ninth goal.
"There are a lot of good things in our game too but not good enough to beat a team like Canada," said Teemu Selanne. "You have to play an almost perfect game to beat them and we didn't get that tonight."
Canada has not lost at the event since 2006 and are vying to win for the fourth time in six years.
Russia and Switzerland are set to meet in the quarters, as are Sweden and the Czech Republic, with Finland and the United States set to meet for the second time in four days. The Finns beat the Americans 3-2 on Sunday in a game marked by controversy and chippiness.
Dubinksy lead the U.S.
Brandon Dubinsky, who recently enjoyed a strong playoff with the NHL's New York Rangers, is now revelling in his country's success.
The six-foot-one, 210-pound centre recorded a hat trick for the United States on Monday in a 9-1 pasting of Norway at the world men's hockey championship in Halifax.
Dubinsky and company shook off the loss to Finland complete the qualifying-round schedule with a 3-2-0 record.
They scored three times in each period to bury an overmatched Norwegian team.
The Americans, who locked up third place on the Halifax side of the tournament, had already earned a quarter-final berth prior to the game, and will next play the loser of Monday's matchup between Canada and Finland.
Norway (1-2-1) must hope Latvia loses to Germany in regulation on Monday night to earn the last quarter-final spot for Group F.
The U.S. dominated the opening 20 minutes against Norway and was rewarded with three goals, including a pair just 63 seconds apart.
Dubinsky, who had eight points in 12 Stanley Cup playoff contests, opened the scoring at 11:12 with his first goal in Halifax as he took a pass in the slot from Adam Burish and fired the puck underneath Norwegian netminder Pal Grotnes.
Just over a minute later, Dustin Brown potted his fourth of the tournament and first of two goals on the day as he skated into the slot and drilled a shot glove-side past Grotnes.
In the final minute, the U.S. found the back of the net again as Patrick Kane tallied his third of the tournament on the power play. Zach Parise set up the Calder Trophy nominee with a perfect pass across the crease.
Six minutes into the second period, Dubinsky scored his second of the game as he made good on a rebound attempt from in close.
He completed the hat trick in the third on a shot from the right faceoff circle that beat backup netminder Ruben Smith during a U.S. power play. Smith replaced Grotnes shortly after the eighth goal for the Americans.
Paul Martin, Patrick O'Sullivan and Zach Parise rounded out the scoring for the Americans.
Defenceman Mats Trygg spoiled U.S. goaltender Robert Esche's shutout bid in the second period.
The Americans outshot Norway 48-18.
In other action Monday, unbeaten Russia got first-period goals from Dmitry Kalinin, Alexander Ovechkin and Maxim Sushinsky and went on to defeat Switzerland 5-3.
Russia (5-0-0) finished first on the Quebec City side of the tourney and dropped Switzerland (4-1-0) to fourth place, so the two teams will meet again in the quarter-finals.
The second-place Czech Republic (3-1-1) will meet third-place Sweden (3-2-0) in the other quarter-final in Quebec City on Wednesday.
Sergei Fedorov and Sushinsky, with his second of the game, also scored for the Russians while Rafaele Sannitz, Julien Vauclair and Romano Lemm replied for Switzerland.
In other results Monday, Denmark edged Belarus 3-2 in overtime and Germany downed Latvia 6-3.