Sweden shuts out Switzerland in Olympic men’s hockey
Daniel Alfredsson buries Swiss with 3rd-period goal
Daniel Alfredsson’s third-period goal was enough to lift Sweden to a 1-0 win over a pesky Switzerland side Friday in Group C of the men’s Olympic hockey preliminary round.
The Swedes ended the scoreless stalemate with less than eight minutes remaining in the game at Bolshoy Ice Dome.
Defenceman Erik Karlsson sent a harmless looking shot toward Reto Berra, but the Swiss goalie allowed a bad rebound right to Daniel Alfredsson, who buried his easy chance.
"It was a hard shot, and it bounced under my arm, through somewhere, I don't know," said Berra. "I thought at first I had it, so I was late on the rebound. The puck was laying there and the guy was right there [to score]."
"Overall it was good. One goal, against Sweden, against top players like that, is for sure not bad. But at the end we lost 1-0, and you want to win. Tomorrow is another day, another game, and we will want to do everything to beat the Czechs."
The win gives Sweden (2-0) first place in Group C, three points ahead of Switzerland (1-1) and the Czech Republic (1-1).
Henrik Lundqvist backstopped Sweden with 26 saves. Despite giving up a questionable goal, Berra stopped 30 shots for Switzerland.
Both teams took turns dominating the territorial play.
Switzerland, which continues to improve with each passing Olympic Games, outshot Sweden 13-5 in the opening period. The Swedes picked up their game in the second as they held a 17-7 advantage.
The Swedes are playing without two of their best offensive players.
Captain Henrik Zetterberg scored a goal and played 18:14 of ice time during Sweden’s 4-2 victory over the Czech Republic on Wednesday.
But the Detroit Red Wings stalwart is sidelined for the remainder of the Olympics with a herniated disc in his back, according to the Swedish Ice Hockey Federation.
“It’s a tough break for us…losing our captain and a big leader on this team,” Lundqvist said of losing Zetterberg in an interview with Hockey Night in Canada’s Elliotte Friedman.
“Then again we just have to regroup and stay positive. We have to have other guys to step up now and play more minutes and be more of a leader. We have that, but to replace Zetterberg that’s going to be tough.”
Zetterberg joins Vancouver Canucks forward Henrik Sedin on the injury infirmary. The 33-year-old confirmed on the eve of the Winter Games that he would miss the Olympic hockey tournament due to a rib injury.
Johan Franzen, another Red Wings forward, is out with a concussion.