Swedish ice hockey team faces strong Russia
Published: 23 May 2014 13:12 GMT+02:00
The Swedish squad came to Minsk with ten players who had never played in the world championship before. The team struggled throughout the preliminary round before winning a place in the last four by edging out hosts Belarus 3-2.
This hard-fought win seems to have boosted the Swedes' confidence ahead of the dangerous semi-final confrontation with the Russians.
"They have those two superstars of course, but also a great team," Swede Gustav Nyquist, a Detroit Red Wings right winger, said of Russians Alexander Ovechkin and Yevgeny Malkin.
"But we're good too and have shown what we can do. It'll be a tight game. The results in the quarter-finals goes to show that any team of the four remaining can win this."
Russia, the only team with a perfect record at the event, look favourites to win with strong performances in all areas of the ice, including defence. The team has allowed just seven goals in eight matches.