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Evgeni Plushenko and Julia Lipnitskaia secured the gold by winning the free skates, thrilling the Iceberg crowd that was almost completely comprised of their countrymen.

Russia had 67 points with the ice dance yet to come, and Canada was next with 56 points. The United States stood third with 50, while Japan and Italy had 45 each.

Russia, Sweden, Switzerland win in women’s hockey play

SOCHI, Russia —  The Russian women’s hockey team awakened in time to preserve its chances of reaching the medal round.

In front of a boisterous crowd that was the biggest yet at the Shayba Arena, the home team scored four times in the third period to come from behind and skate away with a 4-1 victory over Germany on Sunday night. Earlier in group play, Switzerland beat Japan 1-0.

Germany’s Franziska Busch broke a scoreless tie in the second period, and Viona Harrer took a shutout into the third before the Russians scored four times in a span of 7 minutes, 11 seconds. Yulia Leskina made 14 saves for Russia on her 23rd birthday and in her Olympic debut.

Harrer stopped 33 shots for Germany. Smolentzeva had a goal and two assists in front of the home crowd of 5,048, which banged drums and chanted “Ro-ssi-ya! Ro-ssi-ya!” at the puck-shaped venue on the coast of the Black Sea.

The Russians, who were third at the most recent world championships, are trying to play their way out of the second-tier Group B and into a spot in the quarterfinals. Only the top two teams in the round-robin will make the elimination stage, where they will meet the bottom two teams in Group A; the top two teams in the upper tier will get a bye to the semifinals.

Sweden won its Group B opener Sunday with a 1-0 victory over Japan. Jenni Asserholt deflected a shot into the net for a first-period goal.