Emma Nordin's deflection one minute into the game stood as the game winner as Sweden beat Germany 4-0 to move into first place in Group B.
Goalie Kim Martin Hasson stopped 21 shots for her third career shutout at the Olympics. Sweden has yet to allow a goal in two games so far and has now qualified for the quarter-finals.
With the win, Sweden takes over first place in Group B with six points. Russia, which plays later tonight, has three, while Germany and Japan have none. That leaves Germany’s chances of advancing to the playoff round at slim at best. If Russia beats Japan tonight, the chances will be nil.
"It was a great win," Nordin said. "We needed this win because there’s going to be a big fight against the Russians on Thursday, and they’re at home."
"I thought we didn’t play too badly," said losing goalie Jennifer Harss. "Unfortunately, the result shows otherwise. We lost 4-0. That really sucks. If you give up four goals, you’re always not happy. I think I could have played better."
As soon as referee Aina Hove dropped the puck to start the game, Martin established a record by a female goaltender by playing in her fourth Olympics. Indeed, only three men have played in four - Vladislav Tretiak (URS), Dominik Hasek (TCH/CZE), and Jim Marthinsen (NOR).
"That's what I heard," Martin Hasson enthused of her place in history. "Someone texted me last night. It feels really good. I had no idea."
The only scoring in the opening period came at the one-minute mark. Emma Eliasson’s point shot was deflected in front by Nordin and past Harss to give Sweden the early lead.
"I was just going to the net because I know that Emma [Eliasson] is a good shooter, and I just touched it with my stick," Nordin said.
The goal set the tone for a period in which Damkronorna controlled play for the most part. Martin Hasson wasn’t tested seriously, although Germany had two of the three power-play chances.
Although the second period was a defensive struggle which went without a goal, the Germans had the two best srocing chances. In the first instance, a point shot was kicked out by Martin Hasson but Sophie Kratzer was right there for the rebound.
She fired a quick shot that Martin Hasson kicked out beautifully and then when Kratzer tried to stuff the puck in the short side Martin Hasson got her pad over to the post to make another fine save.
Then, in the final minute, captain Susann Gotz ripped a hard shot wide of the far side.
The Germans might well have scored several goals in the final period but Martin Hasson was sensational. She stoned Monika Bittner on a breakaway, and with the Germans on a power play she made a brilliant toe save on a low shot through traffic by Jacqueline Janzen.
Moments later, Cecilia Ostberg made it 2-0 on a scrambly play in front of the German net, and the Swedes had that little bit of breathing room they had been looking for.
They made it 3-0 midway through the period when Johanna Olofsson's point shot was batted down by German forward Nina Kamenik in front of her goal. The puck bounced off her glove and dribbled under Harss and in.
Moments later, the Swedes put the game out of reach when Winberg drilled long shot over the glove of Harss to make it 4-0.