Lundqvist, Sweden win Olympic Opener 4-2

Erik Karlsson (65) celebrates with teammate Oliver Ekman-Larsson (3) after his first period goal.

Erik Karlsson (65) celebrates with teammate Oliver Ekman-Larsson (3) after his first period goal.

The men’s ice hockey competition in Sochi started yesterday with a matchup between the Czech Republic, and Sweden. Sweden was being represented by New York Ranger goaltender Henrik Lundqvist, and forward Carl Hagelin. This is Henrik’s third time representing his native Sweden, while Hagelin is making his Olympic debut.

Sweden came out firing to start, dominating play in the Czech’s end. It led to the first goal of the game, a booming shot from by point by former Norris Trophy winner Erik Karlsson at 10:07 that gave the Swedes a 1-0 lead. Sweden added another goal just 3:10 later, when Patrik Berglund beat Kovar, to make it 2-0. Lundqvist had an assist on the goal.

Sweden continued their dominance to start the second period. Just 51 seconds in, captain Henrik Zetterberg would score and Erik Karlsson netted his second of the game, giving Sweden a 4-0 lead. Out went Kovar and in came Salak.

The Swedes then got a bit sloppy. They couldn’t stay out of the box, and some costly turnovers led to play being dominated in their end for much of the rest of the 2nd period. The Czechs opened their scoring at 8:12 with a goal from Marek Zidlicky. Shortly thereafter, Jagr followed it up for the Czechs to make it 4-2. It was rather controversial as Lundqvist appeared to have been interfered with, but the goal stood. After two periods, it was 4-2 Sweden.

The Swedes had a much better 3rd period, Lundqvist was outstanding, making 15 saves in the period, leading his country to victory. He finished with 27 saves out of 29 shots faced. Hagelin had 12:15 minutes of ice time, and finished with two shots on goal. He was skating on a line with Loui Eriksson, and Marcus Kruger. Sweden’s next game is Friday at 7:30 AM EST against Switzerland.

Article written by Connor Griffin

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