SLOVAKIA 4 SWEDEN 2
I’m so fried from the emotional drain that was Canada’s win, I’m not even sure what I’m seeing between the Swedes and Slovaks is accurate.
The Swedish push has been underwhelming so far, compared to a Slovakian offence that is getting clean looks at the net frequently.
Shots were 7-7 in the first with neither goalie, Sweden’s Henrik Lundqvist or Slovakia’s Jaroslav Halak, budging an inch.
As time ticked away, both teams got to the body. First Zdeno Chara plowed Henrik Tallinder into the Slovak bench before Mattias Ohlund dropped Marian Hossa, AND I MEAN DROPPED, in front of the Swedish bench.
It’s donuts after 20.
Sweden and Slovakia are apparently bushed from watching the Canada game as well as the middle frame was a carbon copy of the first period in the early going.
Neither team was getting anything or giving any up, which, understandably, made for some dull hockey.
A Slovak power play changed all that.
After Sweden took a too many men penalty, Pavol Demitra, Marian Hossa and Marian Gaborik came together to open the scoring; the latter converted a nice one-timer from Hossa.
Thirty-seven seconds later and Slovakia struck again.
Former NHLer Zigmund Palffy got the second assist on the goal, but he should have been awarded a purple heart for taking a Niklas Kronwall hit to make a pass. He stood in the face of the Swedish superstar and got the puck to Richard Zednik before being Kronwalled.
Zednik sprinted down the right wing before sending a backhand pass across the ice to Andrej Sekera. His shot fluttered on Lundqvist and skipped past him.
The defending Olympic gold medalists showed little panic as they continued pressing and it paid off with just over six minutes left in the period.
Backhands were play to make as Peter Forsberg sent a backhander to Patric Hornqvist, who sent a backhand shot off the right post and in.
Thirty-seven second later and Sweden struck again. Seriously.
Henrik Zetterberg’s backhand pass to Forsberg in front hit the leg of defender Milan Jurcina and re-directed past Halak.
With 47.1 second to play in the period, Demitra scored off a long slap shot from the left faceoff dot on the power play to put the Slovaks up 3-2.
Slovakia keeps on taking the lead, Sweden keeps on cutting into it.
Leading 3-2 midway through the third, the Slovaks upped their advantage to two goals; Demitra to Hossa to Tomas Kopecky and in. It was Demitra’s third point of the game.
Still showing no signs of frustration or panic, Tre Kronor came back with a goal 38 seconds later. Niklas Backstrom set up Daniel Alfredsson out front, his swift shot fooled Halat.
Unfortunately for Sweden, that was all the offence they could muster as the Sedins and Sweden, the third seeded team coming in, is bumped from play by the 10th seeded Slovaks.
This shocker means Canada will face Slovakia Friday in the semi-final.
If you're wondering why I haven't said anything about the Sedins, it's because they didn't do anything against Slovakia.
Daniel and Henrik were held to two shots combined in 13:43 and 13:23 of ice time. Their linemate Mattias Weinhandl failed to record a shot.