• Sweden's Daniel Sedin scores on Slovenia's goalie Robert Kristan during the third period of their men's quarter-finals ice hockey game at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympic Games, February 19, 2014. REUTERS/Laszlo Balogh

    Sweden's Daniel Sedin scores on Slovenia's goalie Robert Kristan during the third period of their men's quarter-finals ice hockey game at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympic Games, February 19, 2014. REUTERS/Laszlo Balogh

  • Sweden's goalie Henrik Lundqvist (L) celebrates his shutout win over Slovenia with his teammates following their men's quarter-finals ice hockey game at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympic Games, February 19, 2014. REUTERS/Grigory Dukor

    Sweden's goalie Henrik Lundqvist (L) celebrates his shutout win over Slovenia with his teammates following their men's quarter-finals ice hockey game at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympic Games, February 19, 2014. REUTERS/Grigory Dukor

  • Sweden's Carl Hagelin (62) celebrates his goal with teammate Jimmie Ericsson as Slovenia's Andrej Tavzelj watches the replay during the third period of their men's quarter-finals ice hockey game at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympic Games, February 19, 2014. REUTERS/Grigory Dukor

    Sweden's Carl Hagelin (62) celebrates his goal with teammate Jimmie Ericsson as Slovenia's Andrej Tavzelj watches the replay during the third period of their men's quarter-finals ice hockey game at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympic Games, February 19, 2014. REUTERS/Grigory Dukor

Ice hockey: Sweden put brakes on Slovenia joyride to reach semis

By Steve Keating

SOCHI, Russia (Reuters) - Sweden brought Slovenia's fairytale run in Sochi to an end with a 5-0 win on Wednesday to become the first team to reach the semi-finals of the Olympic men's ice hockey tournament.

While Slovenia head home for what is sure to be a heroes' welcome, Sweden await the winners of Russia's game with Finland later on Wednesday.

Slovenia, playing in their first Olympic ice hockey tournament, did not go out without a fight and battled the top-seeded Swedes all the way to the final buzzer of their quarter-final.

But goals from Alex Steen, Daniel Sedin, Loui Eriksson and a pair from Carl Hagelin, along with a shutout from netminder Henrik Lundqvist, finally put the brakes on Slovenia's joyride.

"It's definitely a disappointing feeling right now," said Slovenian forward Anze Kopitar. "We felt that we could maybe surprise another team but it didn't happen today.

"We're very proud of this team. We've had a hell of a tournament."

On paper the contest appeared a major mismatch - Sweden, twice Olympic champions, against Slovenia, a small nation with seven hockey arenas and 148 registered senior male players.

But after a win over Slovakia and creditable showings against Russia and the United States in the preliminary round, followed by a 4-0 victory over Austria in their qualification game, the Slovenians were bristling with confidence.

Following a tense start, Sweden made their breakthrough with 70 seconds left in the opening period with a powerplay goal, Steen slamming the puck into a gaping net.

The goal did little to discourage the Slovenians who battled through a scoreless second before the Swedish floodgates opened in the third with a four-goal burst.

"They had a few chances, not a lot, but as long as it's just a one-goal game, you never know," said Lundqvist after making 19 saves to record his second shutout of the tournament.

"In the third we took over and started creating big chances. It was just a good feeling to see the second and third goal go in and kind of feel that we had this one.

"But it was a nerve-racking game, for sure, in the first periods."

(Editing by Peter Rutherford and Robert Woodward)

Highlights

Fireworks explode over the Fisht Olympic Stadium during the closing ceremony for the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics, February 23, 2014. REUTERS/Alexander Demianchuk

Best of Sochi

Schedule and Results

CBSSports.com Shop

Nike Team USA Hockey Winter Olympics KO Pullover Performance Hoodie

Team USA Hockey Gear
Get yours today Shop Now

Highlights

Performers surround mechanized Olympic mascots under a large vessel suspended in the air during the closing ceremony for the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics, February 23, 2014. REUTERS/Grigory Dukor

Closing ceremony in Sochi