OLYMPICS: Sweden Put Stop to Slovenia's Dream Run
Sochi, 19 February - Sweden brought out their best hockey in the final period to stop Slovenia's dream run in the Olympic ice hockey tournament with a 5-0 win (1-0, 0-0, 4-0) in Wednesday's quarter-final in Sochi.
A tired Slovenia was no match for the top-ranked team at the tournament in the final period, after keeping touch with the Swedes for the first 40 minutes.
Playing just a day after its historic win over Austria in the playoffs for the quarters, Slovenia stuck to its plan early on by not allowing easy opportunities to the Swedes.
While Sweden put pressure early on, Slovenia evened the balance of power after four minutes and held on all until Alexander Steen scored on the first power play of the match in the 19th minute.
Sweden continued to create more chances in the second period, but Slovenia's defence and goalie Robert Kristan held on to keep Slovenia in the hunt.
But any hopes of a miracle win against the powerful Swedes were dashed at the outset of the third period, when Daniel Sedin extended the lead to 2-0 in the 42nd minute.
Slovenia was on the back foot after that as tiredness set in and Sweden took advantage of their opportunities to score three more goals in the 49th, 52nd and 56th minutes to put the match away.
The final goals were scored by Carl Hagelin, as Slovenia completely lost momentum after riding on a Cinderella story for most of the past week in its first ever Olympic tournament.
The country with 149 registered professional players notched its first win at an Olympics with a win against Slovakia on Saturday.
Following losses to powerhouses Russia and the US in the preliminary stages, it finished third in group A to enter the playoffs against hockey archrivals Austria, where it dominated in a 4-0 win to book a place in the quarters.
Due to its limited resources in ice hockey, Slovenia's successes has drawn international comparisons to the "Miracle on Ice" by the gold-medal winning US team of amateur and college players at the 1980 Games in Lake Placid.