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Winter Olympics 2014: Sweden vs Switzerland Men's Hockey Recap

We were treated to a fantastic tight-checking affair between these two Group C teams.

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1st period

It was announced before the game that Swedish captain Henrik Zetterberg would miss the rest of the Olympic tournament, Kronwall was named captain in his stead.

Switzerland was the better team in the first half of the opening frame, as Damien Brunner almost secured a breakaway on a Karlsson gaffe, but Ekman-Larsson's speed negated the scoring chance.

Luca Cunti received a breakaway shortly thereafter, but was stoned by Lundqvist.

Several more quality scoring chances went Switzerland's way as they out-shot Sweden 8-2 in the first 7 minutes of the game, however the first power play went to Sweden who failed to capitalize.

The momentum seemed to sway to Sweden's side once the power play expired, with Sweden setting up shop in the Swiss defensive zone for the first time of the game while at even strength. Berra was forced to make a few nice saves.

The rest of the period played out in an evenly matched setting, with the Swiss relying on quick counter attacks and staunch defending to keep Sweden at bay.

A late penalty to Jimmie Ericsson led to a Swiss power play, where former Habs player Yannick Weber threatened to score with a booming one-timer, but missed the net high and wide.

The shots ended 13-5 in favour of Switzerland, which was a fantastic result especially since it was painfully obvious they outplayed Sweden, however the score remained 0-0 heading into the first intermission.

Lundqvist was the star for Sweden in the 1st, culminating with his beautiful stop on Hollenstein.

Raphael Diaz was the Swiss player who saw the most ice time, with 7:18 TOI.

2nd period

The Swiss continued their plucky play to start the second frame, including the third scoring chance of the game for Roman Wick. Wick burned Karlsson, but was stopped in close by Lundqvist.

Reto Berra was finally forced to make a tough save about 5 minutes into the second, as he gloved down a good scoring chance by Patrik Berglund in close.

Sweden picked up their play significantly from the opening frame, however they were unable to create much sustained offensive pressure in the Swiss zone, thanks to incredibly short shifts from Switzerland's players. At most the Swiss were taking 45 second shifts, which meant that they were constantly buzzing and harassing Sweden's best players without remorse.

A delay of game penalty to the Swiss led Sweden to it's second power play of the game. This time around they showed great passing and movement. The first two shot attempts came from Erik Karlsson, one going wide, and one being blocked leading to a zone exit for the Swiss.  Sweden continued to press on the man-advantage, but Berra was equal to the task.

A third penalty to the Swiss, this time on Roman Wick, gave Sweden another chance on the man advantage. Sweden seemed intent on feeding Alex Steen for the one-timer, given that Erik Karlsson's shots from the point weren't getting through. Steen tested Berra several times, but the Calgary netminder wouldn't be beat. By the end of the power play the total shots were tied, 18-18.

Sweden carried the play for the majority of the period, and consequently held the shot advantage of  17-7 during the second. It's worth noting that most of the shots were from a significant distance of the goal, as Switzerland did a good job collapsing down low in front of their goalie.

The tight checking game remained 0-0 heading into the third and final period of the game.

Switzerland had yet to allow a goal in 100 minutes of Olympic hockey.

3rd period

An early interference penalty to the Swedes put Switzerland on the man-advantage, where Lundqvist had to be sharp on a Raphael Diaz point shot. Hollenstein threatened to open the scoring shortly thereafter, however Lundqvist was once again forced to make a good save.

Sweden went on their own power play off a Yannick Weber holding penalty, but weren't able to solve Berra. Their man-advantage set-up was extremely predictable, as they would force passes to the point for a Karlsson or Alfredsson point shot. Switzerland definitely knew what the Swedes were trying to do, and shut down all the shooting lanes from the blue line.

Sweden finally broke the tie halfway through the period, as a harmless shot from Erik Karlsson rebounded off Berra, where Daniel Alfredsson was waiting to bury the puck into an open net.

Amongst a continuous wave of Swedish pressure Switzerland attempted to respond, but King Henrik stood tall, and denied them their second goal of the tournament.

Sweden took the game 1-0, and now sits at the top of Group C.

The Swedes will play Latvia tomorrow in their final game of preliminary play. Switzerland will face the Czech Republic.