Zdeno Chara, Slovakia Knock Off Sweden to Advance to Semifinals

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February 25, 2010

The defending gold medalists are defending no more, as Sweden was beaten by Slovakia 4-3 on Wednesday in the quarterfinals of the men's Olympic ice hockey tournament.

What the Slovaks lacked in offensive firepower they more than made up for in efficiency. Henrik Lundqvist could only stop 10 of 14 Slovakian shots, with Tomas Kopecky netting the eventual game-winner midway through the third period.

"It's the biggest achievement so far in the short history of [the] Slovak Republic," Miroslav Satan of the Bruins told The Associated Press. "We [are] definitely going to enjoy it for a while and then focus on the next game."

Zdeno Chara picked up an assist on Slovakia's third goal, which gave his side a 3-2 lead just 58 seconds before the second intermission. Marian Gaborik, Andrej Sekera and Pavol Demitra scored Slovakia's three second-period goals.

In net, Jaroslav Halak improved to 4-1 in the tournament, stopping 26 of 29 shots.

The Slovaks will play Canada on Friday night, with the winner advancing to the gold-medal game and the loser competing in the bronze-medal game.

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