Sweden Avoids Upset, Hangs On For 4-2 Win

The score was 4-2 in the end, but it could have been much, much worse for the Swedes. A day after Jonas Hiller nearly stole a victory from Canada, Belarusian goaltender Andrei Mezin almost pulled off another big upset over Sweden. In 2002, Belarus ended a hopeful medal run for Sweden in the quarterfinals and for a short period of time on Friday it looked as if they might do it again. Yet despite a near masterful effort in goal, Belarus was never able to pull close the gap.

Sweden pulled off to an early 2-0 lead in the first period behind goals by Daniel Sedin and Daniel Alfredsson, and it looked as though Sweden would be able to easily skate through another round robin victory. Yet Belarus came out with a much more spirited effort in the in the second period and while the stats were certainly in Sweden's favor (14-6 shots on goal), the actual play on ice was evening up considerably.

A Johan Franzen goal opened up the lead to 3-0, but Dzmitry Maleshka would get Belarus on board late in the second with a big power play goal. Sweden was determined to not let Belarus back into the game, pounding the net with 17 shots in the third period. Yet Mezin would make several highlight-reel saves, giving his team the chance at a comeback and a momentous upset. With Maleshka would score once again midway through the third, it looked as though the Belarusians might actually be able to pull it off and at least tie the game.

Yet Jonas Gustavsson would keep Belarus out of the net for the rest of the game, and Alfredsson would ice the win for Sweden with a final-minute goal.

It was a tough lesson for the Swedes, who are attempting to defend their gold medal against what many consider to be superior teams in Canada and Russia (who lost last night in overtime to Slovakia). But if Sweden hopes to repeat, they'll have to find a way to find better scoring and a much more balanced overall attack, hard as it may seem for a team that has the Sedin twins, Henrik Zetterberg, Johan Franzen and Peter Forsberg.

Sweden plays Finland next, at 12:00 am later Sunday night, Monday morning, to end round robin play.

Latest News

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.