Russia beats Germany, Sweden beats Japan in Olympics women's hockey

OlympicsWinter OlympicsSports2014 Winter Olympics

SOCHI, Russia -- Olga Sisina's shot deflected off a defender and into the net, and Yekaterina Smolentseva scored on a 2-on-1 just 38 seconds later to help Russia overcome an early deficit and beat Germany 4-1 Sunday in their opening game of the Olympic women's hockey tournament.

Yulia Leskina made 14 saves for Russia. Viona Harrer stopped 33 shots for Germany.

Franziska Busch broke a scoreless tie for Germany in the second period, then the hosts scored four times over a span of 7 minutes, 11 seconds in the third period to turn a one-goal deficit into a three-goal lead. Sosina scored twice, and Smolentzeva had a goal and two assists.

The crowd of 5,048 was the biggest and most boisterous yet of the women's hockey tournament.

Earlier Sunday, Jenni Asserholt deflected a shot into the net for a first-period goal and Sweden held on to beat Japan, 1-0, in their opening game.

Valentina Wallner stopped 19 shots for the Swedes.

Nana Fujimoto made 22 saves for Japan, which had not qualified for the Olympics in women’s hockey since the sport was added to the Winter Games in Nagano in 1998.

Sweden is the only team other than the United States or Canada to have reached an Olympic gold medal game, beating the Americans in the 2006 semifinal and earning a silver. But the Swedes have struggled lately, falling into the second-tier Group B that will have to compete for two spots in the quarterfinals.

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