Russia tops Sweden to earn top seed in Group B


The Sports Network

Sochi, Russia ( - Russia finished Group B play with a perfect record, besting Sweden 3-1 on Thursday to earn the top seed for the group at the 2014 Sochi Olympics.

Russia went 3-0 and will play Switzerland in the quarterfinals on Saturday. The Swiss went 0-3 in the superior grouping after losing in overtime to the Finns on Wednesday.

Sweden, which finished 2-1, takes on Finland in the quarterfinals.

Canada and the United States finished first and second, respectively, in the top-tier Group A to earn byes to the semifinals. The Canadians posted a 3-2 victory over the U.S. on Wednesday in what could be a preview of the gold medal game in Sochi.

Russia outshot Sweden 16-2 in the first period on Thursday and led 1-0 on Anna Shukina's goal 8:38 into the game. Alyona Khomich made it 2-0 near the midway mark of the second frame before Sweden answered with Pernilla Winberg's tally with 1:02 to go before the third period.

Russia, though, iced the game on Yekaterina Smolentseva's goal with 1:53 to play and Anna Purgova had 15 saves in the win.

Valentina Wallner posted 27 saves for Sweden in the loss.

Earlier in the day, Germany picked up its first win of the women's hockey tournament at the Sochi Games, beating Japan 4-0.

The Germans finished play in the bottom-tier Group B with a 1-2 record, while Japan fell to 0-3. Both countries were eliminated from medal contention after starting the tournament 0-2.

Franziska Busch scored twice on Thursday for Germany and Viona Harrer made 30 saves for the shutout. Nana Fujimoto stopped 21-of-24 shots for Japan.

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