Slovenia vs. Austria: Score and Recap from 2014 Winter Olympics

Michael WadeAnalyst IIIFebruary 18, 2014

USA Today

Winter Olympic ice hockey debutants Slovenia eased past a sleepy Austria side to win 4-0 in the men's playoff qualification game on Day 11 in Sochi.

Slovenia cruised past Austria.
Slovenia cruised past Austria.Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Slovenia continued their fairytale run in the 2014 Winter Olympics as they cruised past Austria to book their place in the quarterfinals.

There they will face last year's world-title winners Sweden, where it is unlikely they will be able to continue this unexpected run.

But their achievements already have won them plenty of fans, and they will be cheered as the underdogs.

Slovenia earned a tie against Sweden in the quarterfinals.
Slovenia earned a tie against Sweden in the quarterfinals.Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Anze Kopitar and Jan Urbas gave Slovenia a commanding lead in the first period.

Kopitar, who missed part of Slovenia's last game because of a virus, scored from distance before Urbas impressively advanced unopposed to fire beyond Austria goaltender Mathias Lange.

Slovenia's only NHL player is Kopitar, but they were following his country's progress from afar:

Slovenia stepped it up in the second period, as Sabahudin Kovacevic hammered home a third to extend their lead.

Kovacevic had missed the previous game against the USA because of a ban, but he returned with a real bang to punish Austria.

And they relentlessly pursued a fourth straight after as they attempted to leave Austria with no way back. Their feat was put into context by sports broadcaster Bob Ballard, who is working for the BBC in Sochi:

As the game went on, Austria grew in stature and began to look more comfortable but failed to truly threaten Slovenia in the first of four playoff games on Tuesday.

With the contest threatening to end with a whimper, the well-beaten Austrians playing out time, Jan Mursak added a fourth for Slovenia to lift the crowd and really add an emphatic edge to the scoreline.

The BBC Sport commentary team confirmed that Lange had faced 34 shots from the Slovenians, highlighting how one-sided this game was.

Slovenia have done incredibly well to come this far, and they have cemented their reputation as a growing power in the ice hockey world.

Anze Kopitar in action for Slovenia against Austria.
Anze Kopitar in action for Slovenia against Austria.Julio Cortez/Associated Press

But the established power of Sweden will present them with a tougher test than they have faced so far, and they will have to play the game of their lives to progress further this time.

The experience of playing a side like Sweden in such an important game will serve as a great experience in Slovenia's development. And the Swedes cannot take their opponents for granted by any means.