Czechs dump Tre Kronor out of hockey worlds
After roaring through the first rounds with a 4-0 record at the 2012 Hockey World Championships, Sweden ran into a familiar foe in the quarterfinals and crashed out, losing 4-3 to the Czech Republic May 17 at the Globe Arena.
The contest marked the fifth consecutive time Sweden and the Czechs have met in either the quarters or semis of the world championship tournament. Sweden beat the Czechs last year in the semis only to lose in the finals to Finland.
This year, however, it was the Czechs’ turn. Loui Eriksson gave Sweden an early 1-0 lead but it didn’t faze the Czechs, who built a 3-1 lead on goals by Petr Nedved, Jiri Novotny and Martin Erat. The third goal woke up the Swedes. Henrik Zetterberg put the Tre Kronor back in the game when he scored with 27 seconds left to play in the second period. Sweden tied the game 45 seconds into the third when Eriksson scored his second goal of the game.
Both teams ramped up their play in the third period and after 19 minutes of scoreless hockey, looked set for overtime. However, Milan Michalek forced a turnover from Niklas Kronwall with 29 seconds left to play. Michalek took the puck and drove to the net, scoring on a high shot past Swedish goalie Viktor Fasth.
"We thought we had the game in hand," said Swedish forward Gabriel Landeskog. "We were starting to play well, getting pucks to the net, just like we wanted to play. It’s tough to let that one go in with 29 seconds left."

Christian Olsson calls it quits
Olympic gold medalist triple jumper Christian Olsson announced his retirement May 14 after failing to completely recover from a foot injury.
Olsson, the one-time world record holder in the sport, was in the United States training with the rest of the Swedish Olympic track and field team ahead of the London Olympic Games, which open in August. When he re-injured the foot in a landing, team trainer Stefan Olsson said Christian Olsson realized his career was over.
“It's disappointing for Christian to not be able to fulfill his efforts to compete in the Olympics," Stefan Olsson told the TT news agency. "He was very focused on the Olympics—not to go there and participate, but to give the best jumpers in the world a run for their money. He wanted to go there and fight for a medal."
Christian Olsson first injured his right foot in 2007 and competed only sporadically until last year, when he placed fifth at the European indoor championships in June and second in a Diamond League competition in New York.
After making his Olympic triple jumping debut in 2000 in Sydney, Olsson came to dominate the sport. Between 2002 and 2006 he captured six gold medals, including an Olympic gold in Athens in 2004. Olsson also matched an indoor triple jump record at the 2004 world championships with a jump of 17.83 meters.


Hamren names Euro team
Swedish national football team head coach Erik Hamren unveiled his selections for the 2012 UEFA European Champions, going with youth and offense as he looks to put the disappointment of missing the 2010 World Cup out of fans’ minds.
Hamren took over the team in the wake of its failure to qualify for South Africa, promising to make Sweden a more attack-oriented side. He coaxed Zlatan Ibrahimovic back to the national team and turned to Johan Elmander as his strike partner. Hamren also began incorporating younger, more attack-minded midfielders and defenders into the mix.
His plans, however, took a hit when Elmander fractured his foot while playing for Galatasaray in Turkey. Hamren, however, named Elmander to the team, saying he expects the striker to be healthy once the tournament opens in mid-June.
Sweden will have to do without teen sensation John Guidetti, who electrified European football with his performance with Feyenoord Rotterdam in Holland, where he scored 20 goals this season, including three consecutive matches with a hat trick. Guidetti, however, suffers from a problem with the nerves in his right leg, and on April 14 he limped off the field and has yet to return. To replace him, Hamren turned to Markus Rosenberg of Werder Bremen, who has not played for the national team in nearly three years.
Stalwarts Anders Svensson (126 caps), Olof Mellberg (112 caps), Andreas Isaksson (91 caps) and Kim Kallstrom (90 caps) are all on the team. Svensson, along with third-string goalkeeper Par Hansson of Helsingborg and striker Tobias Hysen of IFK Goteborg are the only domestically based players on the squad.
Sweden opens its Group D campaign against Ukraine in Kiev on June 11 before facing England four days later and France on June 19.
"It will be an exciting challenge," said Hamren. "It is a tough and uncertain group. We could play three really good matches and still not progress. Our first ambition is to qualify for a quarter-final. But if we do, we will not start celebrating. We dream of medals."

Americans bolster baseball squad
A pair of young Americans are set to join the Swedish national baseball team at Prague Baseball Week in June. The Prague tournament is a tuneup for the European Championships in July.
Pitcher/outfielder David Long of Brookfield, Conn., and Nico Felice of Santa Barbara, Calif., both have Swedish mothers, allowing them to play for the Blue and Yellow. Long is currently a freshman at Lasell College, where he plays for the varsity baseball team. Felice plays for Santa Barbara Junior College.
Long and Feice are the only U.S.-based players Sweden will field at Prague. Its biggest stars—Christian Staehele and Bryan Berglund—continue to work their way back from shoulder injuries. Staehele remains in extended spring training for the Seattle Mariners while Berglund is currently pitching for the Miami Marlins’ Gulf Coast League affiliate where he is 1-1.
Sweden also has a new manager—former Major League pitcher Dennis Cook. The Texas native spent 15 years in the big leagues, winning World Series rings with the Florida Marlins in 1997 and the Anaheim Angels in 2002.
Sweden faces Great Britain, Spain, Italy, Croatia and Greece from July 23 to August 1 in Pool B of the European Championships in Germany.