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Sweden men's hockey team defeats Latvia in Sochi, 5-3, to move on to quarterfinals

Latvia forward Lauris Darzins fires a goal shot

Latvia forward Lauris Darzins fires a goal shot past Sweden goaltender Henrik Lundqvist during the 2014 Winter Olympics men's ice hockey game at Shayba Arena on Saturday, Feb. 15, 2014. Credit: AP / Matt Slocum

SOCHI, Russia -- Daniel Alfredsson scored a go-ahead goal late in the second period and Sweden went on to beat Latvia 5-3 Saturday, staying undefeated and earning an automatic spot in hockey quarterfinals at the Olympics.

The Swedes (3-0) will get to rest until Wednesday when the top eight teams will begin playing the single-elimination portion of the tournament.

The Latvians (0-3) will have to win Tuesday in the qualification round to earn a spot in the quarterfinals after being relatively competitive in their three losses.

Sweden's Henrik Lundqvist made 20 saves.

Latvia's Kristers Gudlevskis stopped 25 shots.

Patrik Berglund put the Swedes ahead 1-0 in the first and Lauris Darzins tied it late in the period.

Janis Sprukts put Latvia ahead early in the second, but the lead didn't last long because Erik Karlsson pulled Sweden into a 2-all tie.

Alfredsson's goal put the short-handed Swedes ahead for good late in the second period and Jimmie Ericsson gave them a two-goal lead later in the period.

Latvia's Zemgus Girgensons pulled his overmatched team within a goal early in the third, but Alexander Edler sealed the win for Sweden midway through the final period.

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