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Thursday, 21 February, 2002, 01:19 GMT

Belarus pull off huge upset

Belarus 4-3 Sweden

Belarus pulled off one of the greatest shocks in the history of Olympic ice hockey as they beat Sweden's "Dream Team" of National Hockey League stars in the quarter-finals.

Defenceman Vladimir Kopat scored the winning goal with two minutes and 24 seconds remaining.

His shot from beyond the blueline went straight at the face of Swedish netminder Tommy Salo and he could only deflect the puck back into his unguarded net.

Belarus had only one NHL player in Ruslan Salei, but they got the better of their millionnaire opponents.

Salei said: "I think it's unbelievable, absolutely incredible. Nobody gave us a chance."

Sweden are now out of the running for medals in what is being hailed as the greatest Olympic ice hockey upset since the United States beat the Soviet Union in 1980.


Czech Republic 0-1 Russia

A solitary goal from Maxim Afinogenov was enough to book Russia a place in the Olympic men's ice hockey semi-finals.

The meeting between the great powers of European ice hockey was essentially decided by quality goaltending from both teams.

Russia's Nikolai Khabibulin stopped 41 shots in total to help end the Czechs' defence of the gold medal it won four years ago in Nagano.

The contest was came to a thrilling climax in the final minute, when Khabibulin made a number of fantastic point-blank saves from Patrik Elias, Petr Sykora and Jaromir Jagr.


USA 5-0 Germany

Brett Hull scored two goals as the United States cruised past Germany to book a semi-final match against Russia.

Jeremy Roenick scored first with six minutes and 54 seconds remaining in the first period on a power play.

Hull then added the second 46 seconds into the second period and again 11 minutes later.

While Tony Amonte and John LeClair scored the other two to send the unfancied Germans packing.


Finland 1-2 Canada

Steve Yzerman, scored the winning goal to help Canada beat Finland 2-1 and book a semi-final clash against Belarus.

Joe Sakic opened the scoring three minutes into the game, backhanding the puck between the legs of Finland goaltender Jani Hurme.

Yzerman, then took a pass from Mario Lemieux to score before Finland replied 20 seconds later through Niklas Hagman who collected a pass from Tomi Kallio.


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