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Sweden 5, Japan 0

By Margaret Lillard
Associated Press Writer
Saturday, February 14, 1998; 2:28 a.m. EST

NAGANO, Japan (AP) -- Erika Holst scored twice to lead Sweden to its only Olympic victory today, a 5-0 win over Japan in the last day of the preliminary round.

With defenseman Yoko Kondo in the box for tripping, Gunilla Andersson opened the scoring, grabbing the puck in the neutral zone and shooting past the slightly screened Oda at 10:58 of the first.

Holst made it 2-0 near the end of the period with a wraparound that Japan captain Maiko Obikawa tried in vain to stop as it dribbled past Oda. Obikawa ended up sitting in the net, her head hanging, as the Swedes celebrated.

Holst added the final score with less than a minute to go while Sweden, playing only 14 of its 18 skaters, also got goals from Malin Gustafsson and Maria Rooth.

The game was strictly for bragging rights. Sweden and Japan, neither of which had won a game, were eliminated from medal contention Thursday.

The Japanese bowed to each other and the capacity crowd that has turned out for all the home team's games, then embraced, some leaving the ice in tears.

© Copyright 1998 The Associated Press

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