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Slovenia
Sweden

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38 SOG
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SWE
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Sweden won't be overlooking underdog Slovenia

Wednesday, 08.06.2014 / 4:52 AM

Sean McCullen - NHL.com Staff Writer

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Sweden won't be overlooking underdog Slovenia
Slovenia vs. Sweden

SLOVENIA vs. SWEDEN

When: Wednesday, 3 a.m. ET (NBCSN, TSN)

Where: Bolshoy Ice Dome

What's at stake: Slovenia will be looking to add to its improbable run at the 2014 Sochi Olympics, its first appearance in an Olympic hockey tournament. Sweden, meanwhile, will be looking to do what's expected of it and that is advance to the semifinals on the way to a second appearance on the medal podium in the five Olympics that have included NHL players.

Slovenia earned its first-ever Olympic win Saturday with a 3-1 victory against Slovakia, and then bounced back from a 5-1 loss to the United States on Sunday with a 4-0 victory against Austria in a qualification playoff game Tuesday. The latest win allowed Slovenia to advance to the quarterfinals of a major world hockey tournament for the first time.

Slovenia: Anze Kopitar, the lone current NHL player on the roster, got the team going against Austria. The Los Angeles Kings forward scored at 5:29 of the first period for a 1-0 lead and Slovenia never looked back.

"Three days ago they said it was the biggest win, against Slovakia, in Slovenian history," Slovenia's Sabahudin Kovacevic told the IIHF website. "But now, I think this one is the biggest."

Goalie Robert Kristan stopped all 30 shots he faced, including a post-to-post glove save on Austria forward Michael Grabner in the first period, to earn the shutout. He has allowed one goal in his past two starts.

Sweden: Despite losing three of their top forwards to injuries, including captain Henrik Zetterberg, the Swedes finished preliminary-round play unbeaten to earn the top seed heading into the quarterfinals.

Even after finishing with three regulation wins in the preliminary round, Sweden knows it has to be better if it's going to atone for its disappointing fifth-place finish at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics. The players were not happy after a 5-3 win against Latvia on Saturday.

"The most important thing is we won our three games here," goaltender Henrik Lundqvist said. "We took care of business. But I think facing a really good team in the quarterfinal we'll have to improve a lot."

The Swedes also can look to past upsets in the quarterfinal round, including a 2002 loss to Belarus, to know they can't overlook underdog Slovenia.

"I don't think I need to tell them anything about that after the group games we've had," said forward Daniel Alfredsson, who was on that 2002 team. "We are going to be the favorites, no doubt about that, so it's just about balancing our energy the right way.

"We can't focus on what we have to lose, but on what we can win."

What’s next: The winner will play in the semifinals Friday; the loser will go home. The semifinal opponent is yet to be determined, but will come from the winner of the quarterfinal game between Finland and Russia.

Slovenia
# Forwards Club HT WT DOB Birthplace
71 B. Golicic 6'0" 194 6/12/1989 Kranj, SLO
8 Z. Jeglic 6'1" 176 2/24/1988 Kranj, SLO
11 A. Kopitar LAK 6'3" 224 8/24/1987 Jesenice, SLO
92 A. Kuralt 5'9" 176 10/31/1991 Kranj, SLO
39 J. Mursak 5'11" 187 1/20/1988 Maribor, SLO
16 A. Music 5'9" 181 6/28/1982 Ljubljana, SLO
19 Z. Pance 6'1" 196 1/1/1989 Ljubljana, SLO
9 T. Razingar 6'1" 216 4/25/1979 Jesenice, SLO
12 D. Rodman 6'1" 183 9/10/1983 Jesenice, SLO
22 M. Rodman 6'1" 187 9/25/1981 Jesenice, SLO
55 R. Sabolic 6'0" 198 9/18/1988 Jesenice, SLO
24 R. Ticar 5'11" 181 5/3/1989 Jesenice, SLO
26 J. Urbas 6'3" 216 1/26/1989 Ljubljana, SLO
91 M. Verlic 6'4" 190 8/21/1991 Maribor, SLO
# Defense Club HT WT DOB Birthplace
15 B. Gregorc 6'3" 209 1/18/1990 Jesenice, SLO
86 S. Kovacevic 6'3" 209 2/26/1986 Jesenice, SLO
28 A. Kranjc 6'0" 201 7/29/1981 Jesenice, SLO
17 Z. Pavlin 6'4" 214 4/30/1985 Kranj, SLO
14 M. Podlipnik 5'11" 181 8/9/1992 Jesenice, SLO
7 K. Pretnar 5'11" 181 8/31/1986 Bled, SLO
51 M. Robar 5'10" 190 1/4/1983 Maribor, SLO
4 A. Tavzelj 6'2" 209 3/14/1984 Jesenice, SLO
# Goalies Club HT WT DOB Birthplace
40 L. Gracnar 5'10" 187 10/31/1993 Jesenice, SLO
1 A. Hocevar 6'0" 183 11/21/1984 Ljubljana, SLO
33 R. Kristan 6'0" 187 4/4/1983 Jesenice, SLO
Sweden
# Forwards Club HT WT DOB Birthplace
11 D. Alfredsson DET 5'11" 203 12/11/1972 Gothenburg, SWE
19 N. Bäckström WSH 6'1" 208 11/23/1987 Gävle, SWE
14 P. Berglund STL 6'3" 217 6/2/1988 Västerås, SWE
42 J. Ericsson 6'2" 212 2/22/1980 Skellefteå, SWE
21 L. Eriksson BOS 6'2" 196 7/17/1985 Goteborg, SWE
62 C. Hagelin NYR 5'11" 186 8/23/1988 Sodertalje, SWE
90 M. Johansson WSH 6'1" 205 10/6/1990 Landskrona, SWE
16 M. Krüger CHI 6'0" 181 5/27/1990 Stockholm, SWE
92 G. Landeskog COL 6'1" 204 11/23/1992 Stockholm, SWE
41 G. Nyquist DET 5'11" 185 9/1/1989 Halmstad, SWE
22 D. Sedin VAN 6'1" 187 9/26/1980 Ornskoldsvik, SWE
18 J. Silfverberg ANA 6'1" 200 10/13/1990 Gävle, SWE
20 A. Steen STL 5'11" 212 3/1/1984 Winnipeg, MB
40 H. Zetterberg DET 5'11" 197 10/9/1980 Njurunda, SWE
# Defense Club HT WT DOB Birthplace
23 A. Edler VAN 6'3" 215 4/21/1986 Ostersund, SWE
3 O. Ekman-Larsson PHX 6'2" 190 7/17/1991 Karlskrona, SWE
52 J. Ericsson DET 6'4" 221 3/2/1984 Karlskrona, SWE
4 N. Hjalmarsson CHI 6'3" 207 6/6/1987 Eksjo, SWE
65 E. Karlsson OTT 6'0" 180 5/31/1990 Landsbro, SWE
55 N. Kronwall DET 6'0" 190 1/12/1981 Stockholm, SWE
27 J. Oduya CHI 6'0" 190 10/1/1981 Stockholm, SWE
7 H. Tallinder BUF 6'4" 209 1/10/1979 Stockholm, SWE
# Goalies Club HT WT DOB Birthplace
1 J. Enroth BUF 5'10" 166 6/25/1988 Stockholm, SWE
50 J. Gustavsson DET 6'3" 192 10/24/1984 Danderyd, SWE
30 H. Lundqvist NYR 6'1" 188 3/2/1982 Are, SWE