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Sweden shakes scrappy Slovenia on way to semis

Feb 19, 2014, 5:13 AM EDT

Ice Hockey - Winter Olympics Day 12 - Sweden v Slovenia Getty Images

Slovenia was able to hang in there for quite a while, but its Cinderella run ended on Wednesday, as Sweden handled them 5-0. Sweden awaits the winner of Finland – Russia in the semifinals of the men’s ice hockey tournament.

The Swedes carried much of the play, generating a 26-11 shot advantage through two periods, yet they entered the third with a nail-bitingly small 1-0 lead. They pulled away in the final frame, however, as Daniel Sedin, Loui Eriksson and Carl Hagelin notched three goals in about 10 minutes. Hagelin added a second tally later in the third.

Alexander Steen scored the first goal of the game.

Hagelin might have enjoyed that strong finish the most, as he gained a little revenge for a questionable hit earlier in the game.¬†Sabahudin Kovacevic received a two-minute interference penalty for hitting Hagelin after the puck was near him. Kovacevic already found himself suspended once in this tournament and may have drawn similar attention* for today’s hit.

Slovenia finishes the tournament with victories both real and “moral,” as they put up respectable resistance to Russia, U.S. and Swedish powers and convincingly defeated Slovakia and Austria. It’s the kind of run that Anze Kopitar and his fellow teammates will likely remember for ages.

While many wondered about Henrik Lundqvist‘s viability in this tournament considering a rocky start to his 2013-14 season, the Swedish goalie is providing evidence that he remains elite; he already has two shutouts in this tournament.

We’ll find out soon enough if the Swedes can continue their strong run in Olympic games on international ice, as they took gold in 2006.

Sweden will find out its next opponent soon enough, as Russia – Finland kicks off at 7:30 a.m. ET.

* – He may still as a matter of formality for future competition …

  1. patthehockeyfan - Feb 19, 2014 at 7:01 AM

    Congratulations to Slovenia for its victories. They made a resounding statement in their first Olympic appearance. First of many, I hope. While they’re probably disappointed in not going further, they’ve done themselves and their country proud.

    Lundqvist appears now to be on his mark, and will be formidable for the remainder of the games.

    P.S. To get the requisite relevant remarks out of the way early:
    1) Dustin Brown is a DB (hockey412)
    2) Neither Kunitz nor Nash should be on the team. Should have been Giroux and Thornton. (narfmoo12)
    3) Ovi … ah, what’s the use? Elvis lives. (blomfeld)

    I hope that’s covered all the bases.

    Congrats once more to Anze Kopitar and the Slovenian team! See you again in 4 years.

  2. dannyboy1313 - Feb 19, 2014 at 8:47 AM

    Slovenia did quite well in the 2010 football World Cup, too.

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