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Sweden 6, Switzerland 2

NHL.com @NHL

TURIN, Italy (AP) - Bengt-Ake Gustafsson was being refreshingly frank - and accurate.

Sweden's men's hockey coach said days ago he would rather play Switzerland and its three NHL players in the Olympic quarterfinals instead of traditional powers Canada and the Czech Republic.

The Swedes left little doubt on Wednesday why their coach wanted to play the Swiss.

Toronto Maple Leafs forward Mats Sundin scored twice midway through the second period as Sweden pulled away in a 6-2 victory over Switzerland to advance to the semifinals.

"We had some pressure on us, and I thought we responded," Detroit Red Wings defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom said. "It's good to get past this hurdle."

Four years ago in Salt Lake City, Sweden opened medal-round play with a loss to Belarus - one of the biggest upsets in Olympic hockey history - and fell to Finland at the 1998 Nagano Games.

Moving ahead this time, the Swedes will face the winner of the Slovakia-Czech Republic game on Friday.

Gustafsson created some intrigue for what turned out to be a lopsided game, suggesting that the only way to ensure a favorable matchup was a loss in the final preliminary game Tuesday against Slovakia, a game the Swedes ended up losing with what appeared to be a solid effort.

Gustafsson has steadfastly stood by his comments, and Carolina Hurricanes goaltender Martin Gerber didn't take offense.

"If they could choose, they would probably pick to play us and not Canada," Gerber said. "And I kind of understand that."

Swiss coach Ralph Krueger insisted he didn't use the comment as bulletin-board material to rally his team.

"I'm not really into addressing those kind of things," Krueger said.

Maybe he should have.

Sweden displayed its superiority quickly and after the score was tied 1-1 by Switzerland's Mark Streit of the Montreal Canadiens midway through the first period, the Swedes scored four straight goals to take a 5-1 lead into the third.

The Swiss finished their uneven tournament 2-2-2. They beat Canada and knocked off the Czechs, but tied lowly Italy and Germany in the previous two games.

"Against the top teams we have to play so hard, and you lose a lot of energy when you have to play teams that you are not as good as and are very skilled," forward Martin Pluss said. "We tried very hard, it was just not there."

The Swedes noticed.

"I think they were a little tired," said Detroit Red Wings Henrik Zetterberg, whose wraparound goal gave Sweden a 3-1 lead in the second period. "In the first period, they were able to stay with us, but as the game went on, we got stronger and more room to skate."

Sweden goaltender Henrik Lundqvist of the New York Rangers stopped 27 shots and had plenty of scoring support.

Gerber, who had a spectacular shutout against Canada, started ahead of Colorado Avalanche goalie David Aebischer and made 21 saves against Sweden.

"Both goalies were on the top of their game, but Gerber had the shutout against Canada fresh in his head," Krueger said.

Swede defenseman Mattias Ohlund was injured when he was checked by Patric Della Rossa from behind, lost his balance and slid into the boards in the second period.

A trainer attended to Ohlund as he lay on his side. After he was helped to his skates minutes later, he walked to the dressing room without assistance. Gustafsson said he was taken to the hospital for X-rays.

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