Turn back the clock eight years earlier when Belarus shocked Sweden in the Quarterfinals beating then 4-3. You would think Sweden would come out and send a message. Well yes and no.
The first period went exactly to plan for Sweden completely dominating play and really made the game look like a bunch of NHL'ers playing a men's league team. They outshot Belarus 17-7 and lead 2-0 which was a very flattering score to Belarus, because without the heroics of Andrei Mezin it could have easily been five or six goals for the Swede's.
The second period really started the same as the first and at the midway point of the second Johan Franzen scored between Mezin's legs to make it 3-0 and 99% of the world said “it's over”. But Mezin kept making saves and holding his team in it. Then the Johan Gustavsson dibocal began. Johan did not look comfortable all game and they can be tough when you are goaltending for a team that is controlling most of the play all game, but he got scrambling around in his net when finally Dzmitry Mialeshka lifted the puck over Gustavsson who was making snow angels in the net to make the score 3-1 after 2 periods.
Going into the third frame you had to figure Sweden would put the pedal down and put away the game. But Sweden really didn't push too hard and was laying back in the trap. And with eight minutes and change to go in the third, Aleksandr Kulakou fired a shot on net and Gustavsson kicked out a juicy rebound right on the tape of Mialeshka who made no mistake to make it 3-2. Finally Canada Hockey Place was rocking with the BEL-A-RUS chants and not thirty seconds later The Belarussians rang one of the crossbar on another shot that Gustavsson looked terrible on. Sweden did manage to stem the tide and with ten seconds to go Daniel Alfredsson tucked in the clincher to make it 4-2 and that was your final.
My thoughts on Belarus.. Andrei Mezin was stellar and really held his team to give them a chance. However this is a weak team given the competition.
My thoughts on Sweden.. Way too cute with the puck. If they would have shot more early they really could have buried this game. Peter Forsberg looks alright to me and he still has an amazing amount of skill. Jonas Gustavsson played his first and last game in these Olympics and really looked bad.
My three Stars
1. Andrei Mezin – Just Brilliant.
2 Daniel Alfredsson – Scored a couple goals, and was solid both ways.
3. Dzmitry Mialeshka – Good job driving the net and was rewarded with a couple goals.
Have a good one!
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About the Author
Written by Shane Hoopfer
Die hard Flames fan since 1980, and a closet baseball junkie. Also a big Dolphins, and Stampeders fan!