Channel NewsAsia

Olympics: High-five Swedes reach hockey semi-finals

Henrik Lundqvist stopped 19 shots for his second shutout of the tournament as Sweden beat Slovenia 5-0 in the quarter-finals of the Sochi Olympics.

SOCHI, Russia: Henrik Lundqvist stopped 19 shots for his second shutout of the tournament as Sweden beat Slovenia 5-0 in the quarter-finals of the Sochi Olympics.

Sweden led by just one goal at the end of the second but then broke the game open in the third as Daniel Sedin, Loui Eriksson and Carl Hagelin, with two, scored in front of a crowd of 7,325 at the Bolshoi Ice Dome.

"We played a really smart game," Lundqvist. "We believed that sooner or later we would create enough chances to end this game and in the third we stepped up and played our best period of the tournament so far.

"It is a process we hope we can continue to grow as a team.

Lundqvist is the only goalie in the tournament to have played every minute of every game and has allowed just five goals in four contests for the Swedes who won the gold medal in 2006 in Turin.

"I feel like I am playing my game," said Lundqvist who plays for the National Hockey League's New York Rangers. "I am feeling good overall about the first games here.

"I haven't faced that many shots but there have been some big chances here and there."

Sweden has a perfect 4-0 record in the tournament after a 4-2 victory against the Czech Republic, a 1-0 win against Switzerland and a 5-3 triumph against Latvia.

Sweden lost several key players, including captain Henrik Zetterberg, to injuries.

Zetterberg played one game in Sochi before going down with a herniated disc and veteran forwards Henrik Sedin and Johan Franzen didn't make the trip to Sochi because of injuries.

Daniel Sedin scored the prettiest goal of the game on a give and go with Sedin just 1:42 into the third for Sweden who are trying to erase memories of their quarter-final loss to Slovakia four years ago in Vancouver.

Vancouver Canucks forward Sedin carried the puck behind the Slovenia net than passed to Eriksson who took it around the back of the net and fed Sedin in front for the goal.

"It was nice to get some goals and get some breathing room," Eriksson said. "We just kept with it and got goals in the third and won the game."

Sweden doesn't know who their semi-final opponent will be but defenceman Erik Karlsson said the tournament is not going to get any easier from here.

"We have to realise that from now on we are not going to be playing a team that is just happy to be there," Karlsson said.

"We are going to play a team that is going to want to win. So we need to have the same mindset.

"We have a lot of guys who have been here before and they have won Stanley Cups in the NHL and won the Olympic gold so we need to realize we are a good team and we need to bring our energy."

Slovenia, who were making their Olympic debut, have just one player on their roster from an NHL team, Anze Kopitar of the Los Angeles Kings.

"It is a very disappointing feeling right now but in a little while when we look back we got to feel tremendous pride about what we accomplished here," said Kopitar.

Later on Wednesday, Finland face Russia, defending champions Canada tackle Latvia while the United States meet the Czech Republic.

Tweet Photos, Videos and Update on this Story to  #cna