04/11/2012 10:06 EDT | Updated 06/11/2012 05:12 EDT

Finland, Switzerland off to semis at women's world hockey championships

BURLINGTON, Vt. - Finland and Switzerland moved on to semifinals of the women's world hockey championships with quarter-final victories Wednesday.

Finland faces Canada and the Swiss take on the defending champion U.S. on Friday. The winners play for gold and the losers for bronze Saturday.

Switzerland came into the championship seeded sixth, so their 5-2 win over fourth-seeded Russia was upset of the tournament so far.

Finland rode a pair of first period goals and a 43-save performance by goaltender Noora Raty to get by Sweden 2-1.

"It really helps to score first to beat a team like Sweden," said Raty, who backstopped the University of Minnesota to the 2012 NCAA Championship in March. "I saw the puck well and made some easy saves early on to get into a rhythm.

"Sometimes it's easier to stay focused when you see 30 or 40 shots than 10."

Stefanie Marty scored twice and Florence Schelling made 32 saves for the Swiss.

Schelling, a first-team All-American and Hockey East's Player of the Year this season at Northeastern, made 24 saves after Switzerland had taken a 2-1 lead.

The Swiss have never won a medal in 13 previous world championships and will play in the semifinals for just the second time.

"It's pretty surprising and I can't believe it that we're actually going to the semifinals," Schelling said. "It's an awesome feeling."

Tatyana Burina opened the scoring for Russia 2:24 into the first period, tapping home the rebound of a shot from Inna Dyubanok. Marty tied it with a 5-on-3, power-play goal at 16:15.

Phoebe Stanz made it 2-1 for Switzerland with an unassisted short-handed goal with just 26 seconds left in the period, cashing in on a turnover deep in the Russian zone. And Julia Marty made it 3-1 2:41 into the second.

Marty scored her second with 2:29 left in the period to break it open. Schelling took over from there, making 13 saves in the third.

Angela Frautshi added two assists for Switzerland, which went 2-for-8 on the power play and killed all six Russian man-advantage tries. Russia was whistled for 10 minors, and Switzerland eight. Anna Prugova finished with 26 saves for Russia.

The Finns rely heavily on Raty, who won a Frozen Four title last month with Minnesota. Anne Helin and Susanna Tapani scored for them in the first period.

Sweden's Elin Holmlov made it a one-goal game with seven minutes to go. Finland also killed off eight power-play chances by the Swedes.

Sara Grahn made 25 saves in net for Sweden, who take on Russia for fifth Friday.

Finland fell 3-2 to Canada in a round-robin game in Pool A and were outshot 43-15.

— With files from The Associated Press.