Swe­den sur­vives a scare in 4-2 Win­ter Olympic victory over Be­larus

Cape Breton Post - - SPORTS -

VAN­COU­VER (CP) — Van­cou­ver Canucks star Daniel Sedin scored his first goal of the 2010 Olympics in his home rink, but his Swedish team got a scare in a 4-2 victory over Be­larus on Fri­day.

Af­ter Swe­den took a 3-0 lead, Dmitri Me­leskov scored a pair of goals for Be­larus, the sec­ond at 11:33 of the third frame, to set up a nervy end­ing to a game the Swedes oth­er­wise dom­i­nated.

Daniel Al­freds­son, with two, and Jo­han Franzen also scored for the Swedes, who started the Mon­ster, Jonas Gus­tavs­son, in goal af­ter Hen­rik Lundqvist shut out Ger­many 2-0 in their open­ing game on Wed­nes­day.

The sight of the red and green Be­larus jer­sey makes Swedish fans cringe at the mem­ory of the 2002 Salt Lake Games when, tied 3-3 late in a quar­ter-fi­nal game, Vladimir Kopat beat Tommy Salo with a shot from near the red line to pro­duce one of the big­gest up­sets in Olympic hockey his­tory.

This time, Me­leshko’s sec­ond goal sparked chants of “Bel-a-rus!” from the non-Swedes in the Canada Hockey Place crowd and, only 25 sec­onds later, Konstantin Zakharov nearly tied with a shot that rang off the cross­bar.

Al­freds­son scored on a feed from Hen­rik Sedin with 11 sec­onds to play.

Swe­den jumped out to 2-0 lead, out­shoot­ing Be­larus 17-6 in the first pe­riod.

Af­ter a long stretch of pres­sure in the Be­larus zone, Daniel Sedin was left alone in front to shoot and bang in his own re­bound at 6:40. Hen­rik got an as­sist for the twins’ first points of the tour­na­ment.

On a power play at 9:04, Al­freds­son dished off the puck and went to the net to bang in a pass from Nick­las Back­strom.

Franzen made it 3-0 mid­way through the sec­ond frame when his shot from close range drib­bled be­tween An­drei Mezin’s pads.

Be­larus fi­nally got one from Me­leshko thanks to some weak penalty killing by Swe­den, who left the point men all the time they needed to tee up shots. One pro- duced a scram­ble in the crease, as the puck was kicked away by Gustafsson, went off Mathias Oh­lund’s skate and went in off the post at 14:40.

Then a bat­tle was won at the Swedish blue-line, al­low­ing Alek­sandr Ku­lakov to break in for a shot and Me­leshko to score on the re­bound.

Czech Repub­lic 5, Latvia 2

VAN­COU­VER (CP) - Three as­sists from Marek Zidlicky and three early goals helped the Czech Repub­lic dump Latvia 5-2 in Olympic men’s hockey action tonight.

Zidlicky helped set up one even strength and two power play goals, in­clud­ing the in­sur­ance marker scored 6:33 into the sec­ond pe­riod by To­mas Kaberle, who also had an as­sist.

David Kre­jci, To­mas Plekanec, Pa­trick Elias and Jaromir Jagr scored the other goals for the Czech Repub­lic.

Kre­jci, Plekanec and Jagr all found the back of the net in the first 5:07 of the first pe­riod to help the Czech team jump out to a 3-0 lead.

Kristaps Sot­nieks and Girts Ankipans replied with sec­ond pe­riod goals 2:58 apart for the Lat­vians to make things in­ter­est­ing.

How­ever, the Czechs put a solid third pe­riod to­gether to seal the victory.

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