Sweden made sure of a place in the women’s ice hockey quarter-finals with a comfortable Group B win over Germany.
A relatively straightforward 4-0 victory was the Swedes’ second in a row, and they will now battle it out with Russia for top spot in the group on Thursday.
Emma Nordin’s first-minute goal set Sweden on their way against a German team that had lost 4-1 to Russian in its first match.
For their part, Sweden were looking to improve on a narrow 1-0 victory over Japan, but they were frustrated for long periods after breaking the deadlock.
After Sweden missed chances to extend their lead in the first period, Germany gave as good as they got in the second, tying 8-8 on shots and threatening an upset.
Three goals in the final period ensured that the form book was not turned upside down. Cecilia Ostberg, Johanna Olofsson and Pernilla Winberg all converted between in dazzling five-minute spell to take the match well out of the Germans’ reach.
A total shot count of 29-21 reflected the fact that Sweden had imposed themselves at both ends of the game.
Germany now face Japan in a match that will determine the pair’s final classifications in the group.
Late Russian goal defeats brave Japan
Russia left it late to see off the challenge of Japan at the Shayba Arena, with Alexandra Vafina securing their quarter-final spot midway through the third period.
In front of another vociferous crowd, the host country took a 12th-minute lead through Tatyana Burina, only to be pegged back when Japan – who had run Sweden close in their first fixture of Sochi 2014 – equalised through Ayaka Toko just 33 seconds into the third period.
The match looked capable of swinging either way at that stage, but Vafina broke the tie with eight and a half minutes left to play, ensuring that Russia’s match with Sweden represents a showdown for first place.
The Russians’ overall dominance was underlined by a shot count of 38-22, although the Japanese outshot them 10-3 in what was a tense and breathless final period.