Loui Eriksson and Team Sweden will skate on as they defeated Slovenia in the quarterfinals Wednesday morning.
Eriksson represented the Boston Bruins well adding a goal and an assist in the 5-0 victory.
The game was closer than the score dictated as the Swedes held only a one goal lead heading into the third period before lighting the lamp four times.
Alexander Steen got the Swedes going with a power-play goal in the first and after a scoreless second, Daniel Sedin changed that early on in the third connecting for a goal. Eriksson added the third goal while Carl Hagelin scored the last two goals as Sweden ended up winning going away.
Henrik Lundqvist recorded a shutout and added another Olympic win to his resume stopping all 19 shots he faced.
Lundqvist knows these games are not easy to win and it was proven Wednesday against a hot Slovenia team.
“Like today, they hang around for two periods and you never know if it can be a different game,” Lundqvist said. “You just need to play your best and have that little extra luck in these types of games by working hard. This was a game we had to win. We didn’t expect to go easy and it didn’t, until the end. Up until then, it was a big fight out there.”
Slovenia opened a lot of eyes in Sochi at the Olympics, but their dream run is now over. Their only NHL player Anze Kopitar was sad to see his team knocked out after a promising few games.
Sweden will now take on Tuukka Rask and Team Finland in the semi-finals.
Boston Bruins’ goaltender Tuukka Rask led Finland to a 3-1 victory today over host Russia with 37 saves setting up a semifinals battle with his teammate Loui Eriksson and Sweden.
It was another disappointing showing from Russia-a team with unlimited talent with the likes of Alexander Ovechkin, Pavel Datsyuk, Evgeni Malkin and Illya Kovalchuk.
The Russians held a 1-0 lead after Kovalchuk buried one early, but then struggled to score again on Rask.
After Juhamatti Aaltonen evened the score for the Fins, the ageless Teemu Selanne gave the Fins the lead for good scoring toward the end of the first period. Mikael Granlund put the dagger in Vladomir Putin’s heart as his goal in the second gave the Fins a two goal lead. That was more than enough.
The real question surrounding Team Russia was why the team did not start hot goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky. He later came into the game replacing Semyon Varlamov, but it was too late.
The goaltender on the other side is who we should be talking about though. Rask got the kitchen sink thrown at him after the first period and made save after save sending his team on to the semifinals. We’ve seen that before.
The United States took care of business beating David Krejci and the Czech Republic team 5-2 Wednesday afternoon.
Jonathan Quick was a bit shaky at the start, but settled in making 21 saves while Ryan Suter added three assists in the Red, White and Blue’s victory.
David Backes also played a very strong game adding a goal and an assist in the contest while Phil Kessel notched his fifth goal of the tournament.
It looked as if the US was going to run away with this one scoring early on James van Riemsdyk’s goal, but Alex Hemsky tied the game minutes later.
After Dustin Brown made it 2-1 for the Americans, Backes scored with less than two seconds remaining in the first period to give the US a two goal lead and all the momentum in the world heading into the middle frame.
After Zach Parise scored his first goal of the tournament in the second period, it was all, but over for the Czechs.
Kessel added another tally in the third while Hemsky scored another.
The US will have their wish. They will meet Canada in the semifinals for a chance at the gold medal yet again. Canada did not have an easy time with the Latvians, as Canada scored late in the third period to escape with a 2-1 win.
The “favorites” of the tournament, Canada had a very tough go of it versus Latvia Wednesday. And when we say escaping, we mean it. Sure, Canada dominated play, but Latvia was one bounce of the puck away from playing the US for a chance at a gold medal game.
Shea Weber played hero for the Canadiens as his go-ahead power-play rocket of a goal sent his bench into a frenzy.
Patrick Sharp got Team Canada on the board in the first period on a nice feed from teammate Rick Nash, but Latvia answered right back with a goal from Lauris Darzins.
The teams skated until the third period with about seven minutes left where Weber allowed his team to breathe a sigh of relief.
Carey Price stopped 15 of 16 shots while Latvia’s goalie Kristers Gudlevskis had to face 57 shots on net.
The stage is now set. The United States will face off against Patrice Bergeron and Team Canada Friday as Loui Eriksson and the Swedes will face off against Tuukka Rask and Team Finland.
Buckle up folks. It will be one heck of a day on Friday.