Kopitar Leads Slovenia Past Austria into Medal Round
Photo credit: Julio Cortez/AP
Slovenia's Cinderella run in Sochi will last at least one more game.
In their qualifying round matchup versus Austria, Slovenia came out strong, not allowing Austria in the game, and won 4-0. The Slovenes have now made history advancing to their first medal round in their first appearance in men's hockey at the Olympics.
Los Angeles Kings forward Anze Kopitar set the tone early, scoring at 5:29 of the first period to put Slovenia up. It was a lead they would never relinquish.
A little later (at the 11:57 mark of the first to be exact), Jan Urbas made it 2-0. Then, 3:21 into the second period, Sabahudin Kovacevic scored to put the Slovenes up by three.
With the game out of reach, Jan Mursak scored with just under three minutes to go in regulation to further solidify Slovenia's milestone victory.
While Austria netminder Mathias Lange did what he could to keep his team in it (he made 31 saves), it wasn't enough as Robert Kristan stopped all 30 saves he faced to preserve the shutout, advancing his country to the quarter-finals where they will face top-seeded - and undefeated - Sweden.