Olympics-Russia beat Sweden to take top spot in group

Reuters

SOCHI, Russia, Feb 13 (Reuters) - Russia defeated Sweden 3-1 to claim top spot in Group B in the Sochi Olympic women's ice hockey competition on Thursday, setting up a quarter-final clash with Switzerland.

Sweden also advanced to the next round for a Nordic showdown against Finland on Saturday.

Russia jumped into a 2-0 lead with goals from Anna Shukina and Alyona Khomich then held off a late Swedish rally.

With just over a minute to play in the second period, Pernilla Winberg cut Russia's lead to 2-1 but the Swedes could not get another puck past Anna Prugova.

Yekaterina Smolentseva added an insurance marker with under two minutes left in regulation.

The winners of Saturday's contests will progress to the semi-finals against Canada and the United States. (Reporting by Steve Keating; Editing by Ken Ferris)

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