Ice Hockey - Vafina leaves it late to maintain Russian women's perfect start

Alexandra Vafina's late goal maintained Russia's perfect start to the women’s ice hockey competition at Sochi 2014, as they squeezed past Japan at the Shayba Arena.

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Ice Hockey - Vafina leaves it late to maintain Russian women's perfect start
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Russia's Alexandra Vafina is congratulated on scoring what turned out to be the game-winning goal against Japan (Reuters)

Russia kickstarted their Games with a 4-1 victory over Germany in their opener, while Japan fell to a narrow 1-0 defeat at the hands of Sweden.

But with less than ten minutes left the two nations could not be separated with Japan's Ayaka Toko pegging Russia back after Tatyana Burina had given the hosts the lead.

However with time ticking down, Vafina struck in the 52nd minute to ensure that Russia kept enjoying that winning feeling.

Earlier in the day, Sweden also wrapped up a second win in as many matches with a convincing 4-0 victory over Sweden.

Emma Nordin struck after just a minute to give Sweden an early lead, but they couldn't add to their tally until the third period.

But when they did the floodgates opened and Cecilia Osterberg, Johanna Olofsson and Pernilla Winberg all notched within four minutes of each other.

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