Sweden, Russia women clinch hockey playoff berths

Associated Press
Team Russia celebrates their 2-1 win over Japan as Tomoko Sakagami of Japan skates past after the 2014 Winter Olympics women's ice hockey game at Shayba Arena, Tuesday, Feb. 11, 2014, in Sochi, Russia. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)
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SOCHI, Russia (AP) — The playoff teams are set for the Olympic women's hockey tournament.

All that's left is to figure out the seeding.

Russia beat Japan 2-1 on Tuesday at the Shayba Arena to clinch a berth in the quarterfinals, a few hours after Sweden beat Germany 4-0 to earn its spot in the playoffs. Russia and Sweden, both with 2-0 records in the round-robin, will play on Thursday for the top seed in the elimination round.

Germany and Japan each fell to 0-2 and have been eliminated from medal contention.

Alexandra Vafina scored on a breakaway with 8:24 left in the third period to help Russia beat Japan in front of a home crowd so noisy the teams couldn't hear the final horn and continued to play for several seconds more. Anna Prugova stopped 21 shots for the hosts.

Nana Fujimoto made 36 saves for Japan.

Tatyana Burina scored in the first period to give Russia a 1-0 lead. It stayed that way until Ayaka Toko lofted the puck past Prugova to tie it just 43 seconds into the third period.

The top two teams in the bottom-tier Group B will advance to the quarterfinals to face the last-place finishers from Group A, which includes the women's hockey powers.

In the early game, Emma Nordin scored just one minute into the game and Cecilia Ostberg added a goal and an assist for Sweden. Kim Martin Hasson, the first women's goalie to play in four Olympics, made 21 saves for Sweden.

Johanna Olofsson and Pernilla Winberg also scored for the Swedes.

Jennifer Harss stopped 25 shots for Germany.

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