Slovakia Scores Another Upset, Gets Medal-Round Berth with Win Over Sweden

Michael Wagner@MichaelDWagnerSenior Analyst IFebruary 25, 2010

VANCOUVER, BC - FEBRUARY 24:  Marian Gaborik #10 of Slovakia celebrates with his team after scoring a second period goal during the ice hockey men's quarter final game between Sweden and Slovakia on day 13 of the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics at Canada Hockey Place on February 24, 2010 in Vancouver, Canada.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Slovakia put the Olympic hockey world on notice when they were able to stun gold medal favorite Russia with a 2-1 victory last week.

Now a week later Slovakia has scored another major upset, as they were able to upset the 2006 gold medal winners, Sweden.

It was Slovakia who would gain the lead early with a power play goal by the Slovakian star Marian Gaborik and then would tack on another goal by Andrej Sekera just over a minute later.

However, Sweden would push back, scoring two goals of their own by Patric Hornqvist and Henrik Zetterberg to even the game up.

But with just 48 second left in the second, Slovakia would take the lead for good with a nice power play goal by Pavel Demitra.

Sweden and Slovakia would trade goals in the third period, but it would be the Slovaks who would walk away with the win.

With the win over Sweden, Slovakia has advanced to the medal round for the first time in the team's history and will be given the chance to pull off another major upset against tournament favorite Canada.

Slovakia, like Canada, does have two of the highest scoring players in the tournament with Demitra and Marian Hossa. Both of them have scored seven points and are in a tie for first with Canada's Jonathan Toews and Dany Heatley.

It is likely, even though Slovakia does have a potent offense and has defeated the like of Russia and Sweden, that they will once again be the underdog, as Canada has looked unstoppable since they were stunned by the Americans in the prelims.

The major key for Slovakia in their game against Canada will be their young goaltender Jaroslav Halak.

Halak has been solid during the entire tournament, and if he can turnout another good performance against Canada, they might be able to steal one as the Americans did on Sunday.

Although Slovakia does have a difficult road to the gold medal, they have acceded many people's expectations, and if they can figure out a way to secure a medal, then their Winter Olympics will be seen as a major success if it is not already.