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ICEHOCKEY

Sweden knocked out of ice hockey world championships

Sweden's hopes of defending their world ice hockey title were dashed in a 4-1 defeat to Canada in Moscow on Saturday.

Los Angeles Kings striker Mike Camalleri collected a goal and an assist, while netminder Cam Ward made 29 saves as Canada defeated the reigning champions.

“Sweden had played a lot of matches together this winter and tonignt we needed to play a very strong team game to be successful against them,”

Canadian coach Andy Murray told the press after the match.

“I think my team played better and better and we have one more game to prove it.”

The action was fast and furious from the opening face-off but it took until

11:05 into the first period before Canada found the net, Camallieri wristing the puck home from the right face-off circle on a powerplay.

Jonathan Toews and Eric Staal of the Carolina Hurricanes added their goals later in the period to give Canada a commanding 3-0 lead before the first intermission.

Johan Davidsson reduced the arrears 6:13 into the second period, also clinching the lead in the event’s top scorers contest with 14 points (7 goals

+ 7 assists) but the Swedes never came any closer than that.

Columbus Blue Jackets striker Rick Nash restored Canada’s three-goal lead with 4:43 remaining before the second break, beating Sweden goalie Johan B├Ącklund with an unopposed close-range shot.

ICEHOCKEY

Swedish ice hockey team faces strong Russia

The Swedes face a tough test in Saturday's ice hockey world championships semi-final against 2012 winners Russia, who are seeking redemption for their Sochi Olympic flop.

Swedish ice hockey team faces strong Russia
Sweden's Gustav Nyquist goes up against Belarus in the qualifying rounds. Photo: TT

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.

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