SOCHI, Russia (AP) - The Russian women’s hockey team had high expectations for the Olympics in Sochi.
With a boisterous home crowd at the Shayba Arena cheering them on, the Russians swept through the round-robin unbeaten and earned a berth in the quarterfinals. But a 2-0 loss to Switzerland in the playoffs eliminated the hosts from medal contention, with a chance to finish no better than fifth.
“You don’t win games with zero goals,” Russia forward Yekaterina Pashkevich said. “But I can’t say that somebody didn’t work hard enough, somebody didn’t try hard enough. I just feel so bad.”
“We are not a fancy team; Finland is much more skilled than us,” Sweden assistant coach Leif Boork said. “But, as you all know, you can win games in different ways. Good character and hard work can do that, and today it was our time to do that.”
With its victory on Saturday, Switzerland advances to Monday’s semifinals to play unbeaten Canada. Sweden will play the United States in a rematch of the 2006 semifinal in which the Swedes knocked off the Americans - the only time in the history of Olympic women’s hockey that either of the North American teams has lost to anyone except each other.