Slovakia 4, Sweden 3
February 25, 2010
Slovakia eliminates defending champ Sweden in quarterfinals
Updated: February 25, 2010, 2:38 AM ET
The defending champion won't medal ... again.
Slovakia knocked off 2006 Olympic gold medalist Sweden 4-3 in a quarterfinal matchup on Wednesday in Vancouver. It's the fourth straight time the defending champ lost in the quarterfinals.
No. 2-seeded Sweden was a heavy favorite, but the seventh-seeded Slovakians had other ideas. Marian Gaborik scored the first goal of the game at 7:34 of the first period, beating his New York Rangers teammate Henrik Lundqvist. Andrej Sekera then gave Slovakia a 2-0 lead less than a minute later.
But the second-period fireworks weren't done. The Swedes answered with two of their own -- by Patric Hornqvist and Henrik Zetterberg -- to tie it. Slovakia went on the power play, however, and Pavol Demitra scored with less than a minute to go in the period to restore the lead.
When the Chicago Blackhawks' Tomas Kopecky gave Slovakia a two-goal lead at 9:01 of the third, a country of 5 million started to celebrate. But a goal by Daniel Alfredsson made it 4-3 less than a minute later, and Slovakia had to endure a final flurry when Sweden pulled Lundqvist in the final minutes.
Slovakia can only celebrate so long as a matchup with Canada looms on Friday in the medal round.
Thursday, February 25th