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Monday, 18 February, 2002, 01:37 GMT

Swedes stay on course

Goaltender Tommy Salo made 37 saves to help Sweden beat the Czech Republic 2-1 and go top of Group C.

Should Sweden beat Germany on Monday then they are likely to come out as top seeds of their group, leaving the Czechs with the prospect of facing the much-fancied Russians in the quarter-finals.

Sweden's defensive players - Nicklas Lidstrom, Kenny Jonsson, Mattias Norstrom and Mattias Ohlund - the Czech forwards during the game.

But it was Salo who made 17 saves in the second period and 12 in the third, who will take the plaudits after the game.

Swedish defender Kim Johansson opened the scoring 4:15 into the game with a power play goal, blasting a slapshot from the blueline.

Swedish captain Mats Sundin extended the lead to 2-0 after 5:14 of the second period, firing the puck between Dominik Hasek's legs.

But Jiri Dopita reduced the deficit for the Czechs on 5:09, but could not find the equaliser.

Meanwhile Canada stuttered to a 3-2 victory over Germany.

A goal from Joe Sakic midway through the second period helped the Canadians overcome the Olympics ice hockey tournament's surprise package.

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