It took Team Sweden a full period to warm up, but once they did, they booked their ticket to the quarterfinals of the men's ice hockey competition in Sochi.
Back on their heels after a stunningly lopsided first period, Sweden came storming back in the second and third, dominating the play to capture a narrow 1-0 victory over Switzerland on Friday afternoon at the Bolshoy Ice Dome in Sochi.
Daniel Alfredsson scored the lone goal of the game, his 12th career in the Olympics, off a rebound in front of the net, to put his team ahead for good with 7:21 to play. Erik Karlsson, who had two goals in Sweden's opening victory against the Czech Republic on Wednesday, was credited with an assist.
Switzerland mounted a fierce rally in the final minutes, but they couldn't solve the riddle of Henrik Lundqvist—the New York Rangers’ star kept his team in the game in the face of a first period Swiss onslaught—who stopped all 26 shots for his third career Olympic shutout.
With the victory, Sweden has secured passage out of their preliminary group. They have six points and, by virtue of their victories over Switzerland and the Czech Republic, will finish at the top of the table and automatically advance to the quarterfinals.
The Swedes wrap up preliminary stage play on Saturday against winless Latvia.
Switzerland will also compete on Saturday. They'll face a Czech Republic team that defeated Latvia 4-2 on Friday.