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Group C Olympic Hockey Roundup

by Photo of Gil Santos

Czech Republic get their first victory of the tournament while the Sweden remains undefeated.

Group C Olympic Hockey Roundup

Czech Republic rebounds against Latvia, 4-2

Czech Republic's Jaromir Jagr (New Jersey Devils), who turns 42 tomorrow, keeps proving that age doesn't matter. The ageless wonder scored for the second straight game to help his team squeak by heavy underdog, Latvia. Jagr has never scored more than two goals in the Olympics, but he already has a pair in six periods. 

Ondrej Pavelec (Winnipeg Jets) started in goal for the Czechs after surprisingly being scratched against Sweden. Pavelec provided steady goaltending, stopping 18 of 20 shots. 

The Czechs were up 2-1 early after the first period with Martin Erat and Jagr finding the net. But Herberts Vasiljevs tied it up for Latvia in the beginning of the second period. 

Jakob Voracek of the Philadelphia Flyers would break the tie at 7:06 for the Czechs with a one-handed deflection off a shot by Zbynek Michalek. Marek Zidlicky also scored for the second straight game, providing the insurance goal and giving the Czechs their first victory of the tournament. 

The Czech Republic improves to 1-1 and will face Switzerland in their final group game tomorrow while Latvia drops to 0-2 and takes on Sweden. 

Shorthanded Sweden survives vs. Switzerland, 1-0

After losing captain Henrik Zetterberg (Detroit Red Wings) to injury for the rest of the Olympics, it was going to be tough skating for Sweden against Switzerland. But they were able to find a way to win on the back of premier goaltender Henrik Lundqvist. 

Lundqvist (New York Rangers) was brilliant once again, turning away all 26 shots from the Swiss. He now boasts a gaudy .963 save percentage for the tournament. With the forward depth thinning due to the injuries of Zetterberg, Henrik Sedin, and Johan Franzen, Lundqvist will be heavily relied upon.

The game was scoreless for more than 52 minutes until Daniel Alfredsson provided the winning goal and his first of the tournament with 7:21 left to play.  

With the victory, Sweden remains the lone undefeated team in Group C at 2-0 and is in great position to receive a BYE in the medal rounds while Switzerland falls to 1-1.

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