Russia uses big 1st period to cruise past Belarus

Alexander Polunin scored twice in Russia's 4-1 victory over Belarus, extending its lead of Group B at the World Juniors.

HELSINKI — Alexander Polunin scored two goals to help Russia to a 4-1 victory over Belarus on Tuesday at the world junior hockey championship.

Maxim Lazarev opened the scoring for Russia at the midway point of the first period at Hartwell Arena. Polunin added a power-play goal a few minutes later and Vladislav Kamenev made it a three-goal game later in the frame.

After a scoreless second period, Alexei Patsenkin got Belarus on the board early in the third period before Polunin added an insurance goal to put the game out of reach.

Russia (2-1-0-0) leads Group B with eight points while winless Belarus (0-0-0-3) remained in last place.

Russia outshot Belarus 32-18.