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Host Russia tops in Olympic women’s hockey Group B

February 13, 2014

SOCHI, Russia (AP) — Russia will play Switzerland and Sweden will meet Finland in the Olympic women’s hockey quarterfinals.

Russia beat Sweden 3-1 on Thursday to finish pool play unbeaten. That gave the hosts a playoff pairing with the Swiss, who finished last in the top-tier Group A that included the top four teams in the world rankings.

Earlier Thursday, Germany beat Japan 4-0 for its first win of the tournament. Both teams had already been eliminated from medal contention and can finish no better than fifth.

Sweden won its first two games to clinch a berth in the quarterfinals. But by finishing second in Group B, the Swedes now have to get past Finland, the defending Olympic bronze medalist.

Anna Prugova stopped 15 shots for Russia. Anna Shukina and Alyona Khomich scored to give Russia a 2-0 lead midway through the second period. Sweden’s Pernilla Winberg made it a one-goal game with 62 seconds left in period. Yekaterina Smolentseva scored with 1:53 left in the game to help clinch it.

Valentina Wallner made 27 saves for Sweden.

Franziska Busch scored twice and Viona Harrer stopped 30 shots to help Germany beat Japan. Both teams lost their first two games and move to the classification round.

Susann Gotz scored for Germany in the first period, deflecting a shot from the blue line into the net. Busch made it 2-0 in the first minute of the second with a backhand from in front of the goal. Kerstin Spielberger added a goal in the final minutes, and Busch made a long empty-netter with 32 seconds left.

Nana Fujimoto made 21 saves for Japan.

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