MINSK, Belarus -- Russia beat defending champion Sweden 3-1 Saturday in a matchup of the last two title holders to advance to the final of the ice hockey world championship.

It was the ninth straight victory at the worlds for Russia which is one win away from its second title in the last three years.

Russia will face the Czech Republic or Finland in Sunday's final game.

Showing off its attacking power, Russia rebounded from an opening goal by Oscar Moller who netted just 19 seconds into the game with goals from Sergei Plotnikov and Sergei Shirokov later in the first period.

Defenceman Anton Belov drove a slap shot into the net on a rebound to make it 3-1 in the second in front of roaring Russian fans.