By Frank Pingue
SOCHI, Russia, Feb 20 (Reuters) - Switzerland won their first medal in women's ice hockey after rallying from 2-0 down to beat Sweden 4-3 win in a frenetic bronze medal game at the Sochi Olympics on Thursday.
Trailing 2-0 going into the final period, Switzerland came to life with goals from Sara Benz, Phoebe Stanz, Jessica Lutz and an empty netter from Alina Muller.
Sweden, the 2006 silver medallists, had looked comfortably on course for the win as they controlled the first two periods.
Switzerland fought back and with under seven minutes to play and the game tied, Sweden were unable to clear their zone and the Swiss made them pay as Lutz sent a perfect pass from Lara Stalder flying into the net.
Sweden pulled their goalie, opening the door for Muller's fourth, and though the Swedes got one back with the extra attacker in the final minute, the Swiss held on and celebrated wildly on the whistle.
After finishing last in their group during the preliminary round, Switzerland went on to beat Russia in the quarter-finals before losing in the semi-finals to Canada.
Since women's ice hockey was introduced to the Olympics in 1998, Canada, the United States, Sweden and Finland had shared all the medals and the two north American hockey superpowers will fight it out for gold again late on Thursday.
(Editing by Mitch Phillips)