Germany's Michael Hackert celebrates one of his two goals in Monday's game in Halifax. ((Mike Dembeck/Canadian Press))

Germany raced out to a two-goal lead and held on for a 4-2 win over Slovakia at the world hockey championships at the Halifax Metro Centre on Monday night.

Michael Hackert scored twice for Germany (1-1), with Marco Sturm of the Boston Bruins opening the scoring six minutes into the game. Juraj Kolnik and Ivan Ciernik scored for Slovakia (1-1).

Earlier at the same venue, Finland avoided an upset when Tuomo Ruutu of the Carolina Hurricanes scored 1:27 into overtime for a 3-2 win. NHLers Jussi Jokinen and Ville Peltonen also scored for Finland (2-0) but Norway (0-2) twice fought back to tie the game.

Sweden romped over France 9-0 at the Colisée in Quebec City, with Washington Capitals rookie Nicklas Backstrom scoring twice to lead the way. Goaltender Stefan Liv recorded the shutout.

The Swedes will next take on Switzerland, also unbeaten in two games. The Swiss edged Belarus 2-1, with Ottawa Senators goalie Martin Gerber making 22 saves for the winners.