Lundqvist, Hagelin Lead Sweden Into Semis With 5-0 Win

Jim Cerny
BlueshirtsUnited.com

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Henrik Lunqvist stopped all 19 shots for his second shutout of the 2014 Olympic Games, while Ranger teammate Carl Hagelin scored two goals for Sweden in a 5-0 shutout of Slovenia Wednesday in Sochi. The victory places Sweden (4-0) in the semifinals Friday against Finland (3-0-0-1) in a rematch of the 2006 Gold Medal Game.

Lundqvist, who also backstopped a 1-0 shutout victory over Austria in the preliminary round, has surrendered just five goals in Sweden's first four games. He stopped all six shots he faced in the first period Wednesday, five in the second, and eight in the third, and now has a .948 save percentage in the tournament.

Appearing in his third consecutive Olympics for Sweden, Lundqvist now owns a lifetime record of 11-2 with four shutouts in the Winter Games. Lundqvist and Sweden won the gold medal in 2006, but failed to reach the semifinals four years later. Now with a win on Friday they would be back playing for gold in 2014 on Sunday.

The final score did not quite reflect how close the game was throughout, however. Though Sweden held a major advantage in shots, 26-11, through two periods of play, Slovenia trailed only 1-0 entering the third period. That is when the skilled Swedish squad put an end to underdog Slovenia's dreams of an upset by scoring four times--including the final two off the stick of Hagelin.

Daniel Sedin's goal 1:42 into the third started the big third period for Sweden, and at 8:04 Loui Eriksson made it 3-0. Hagelin, playing in his first Olympic Games, then put the game away by scoring twice, less than five minutes apart--at 11:27 and 16:10.

The goals were the first  recorded by Hagelin in Sochi. He scored on both of his shots on Wednesday, and was a +2 in 12:28 worth of ice time. The 12 minutes 28 seconds he played against Slovenia is the highest ice-time total for Hagelin, so far, in Sochi.

Finland ousted host country Russia on Wednesday with a 3-1 victory to advance to Friday's semifinals. Eight years ago Sweden, with Lundqvist in goal, beat Finland, 3-2, to capture gold in Torino, Italy.

Follow BlueshirtsUnited.com and the team's official Twitter, @nyrangers, for complete coverage of the Ranger players taking part in the 2014 Winter Olympics as we close in on Friday's semifinal action.