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Men's Ice Hockey Tournament at the Winter Olympic Games 2018

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Germany makes it

Kuhnhackl scores late game-winner vs. Latvia

Germany makes it

 

 

After missing out on Sochi 2014, the German men’s national team will return to the Olympics in PyeongChang 2018 after beating Latvia 3-2.

 

At was an atmosphere of excitement but also nervousness. There was no clear favourite between the home team Latvia and the Germans, who have so far played better at this tournament. It was a game between different hockey cultures in which the Germans have an 8-1-3 record at World Championships and Olympics winning the last three encounters between 2013 and 2015.

 

The game already started emotional and Latvia had the advantage with an early German penalty. During a power play with few shots Arturs Kulda had the best chance but missed the puck alone in front of the net after a drop pass.

 

In the eighth minute of play it was another Latvian defenceman, who unexpectedly had a great chance when the goal was open from the left side but his shot hit the post and the German counter-attack didn’t succeed either. The first minutes were an appetizer of what an exciting game the 10,035 fans at the full Arena Riga could expect.

 

At 16:18 it was the Germans, who opened the scoring with a Leon Draisaitl goal during a power play. He was left alone on the right side after an east-west pass from Tom Kuhnhackl in a co-production of two German hockey legends’ sons.

 

The Latvians tried to react immediately but Philipp Grubauer made a nice pad save against Kristaps Sotnieks.

 

In the second period the Germans started more dominant and were rewarded early. After a German power play Felix Schutz capitalized on a rebound after a long shot from Patrick Hager at 4:51. A few minutes later Latvian coach Haralds Vasiljevs replaced his goaltender Kristers Gudlevskis with Elvis Merzlikins, who was kept busy during the period. The Latvians created too little to come back into the game during the first half of the period until they had some chances during a power play midway through the frame and a breakaway from Lauris Darzins, who saw his two shots blocked by Philipp Grubauer at 11:20.

 

At 14:55 the Latvians eventually succeeded when Miks Indrasis’ shot from the face-off circle went in during the next power play.

 

The Latvians were pushing for the equalizer in the third period although the first big chance was on the other side. After a drop pass from Marcus King his linemate Marcel Goc shot high from next to crease but Merzlikins caught the puck with an unbelievable glove save.

 

Few minutes later Daryl Boyle was called a tripping penalty and the Latvian power play succeeded again. Kaspars Daugavins passed the puck back from the goal line and Martins Karsums scored the 2-2 goal.

 

The game continued again tied but like it did at the beginning of the game it was the Germans, who were next to get the lead. With 5:09 left in regulation time Kuhnhackl got the puck next to the goal post, missed on the first attempt but then put the disc under Merzlikins’ pad for the 3-2 goal silencing the crowd in Riga and forcing Latvian coach Vasiljevs to use his time-out.

 

With 2:58 left the Latvians were opened a big chance when Marcel Goc was sent to the penalty box for tripping Mikelis Redlihs. The Latvians didn’t score, neither did they when the goalie was pulled in the last minute, and the German men’s national team celebrated their Olympic comeback for 2018.

 

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Denmark polishes off Poland

Five different scorers gets first win

Denmark polishes off Poland

 

Leaving it a little late, Denmark now found the net with ease, toppling Poland in their final game 5-2.

 

With professional pride at stake, Denmark closed off a disappointing week with grabbing their first win at the Olympic qualification tournament in Minsk.

 

Poland was downed 5-2 with Nicklas Jensen grabbing three helpers, while Philip Larsen tallied a goal and an assist with Frans Nielsen recording 0+2. Sebastian Dahm got a start in net and recorded 16 saves.

 

But in the wake of Denmark's final day 5-2 win, more questions than answers are set to linger on regarding an abject overall performance from a Danish roster who arrived to Minsk as clear favourites to go to PyeongChang 2018.

 

"There is nothing to be happy about," said Denmark's Morten Madsen. "We did not play as a team or as we should play."

 

"It has been a tough few days for us and if there is anything to take out from this final game is that we were able to bounce back mentally and win it," he continued.

 

Poland, who finished the tournament without a win, battled hard until the end. Kamil Kalinowski and Maciej Urbanowicz got on the scoresheet for Poland, while Przemyslaw Odrobny was back in net and recorded 21 saves.

 

"We play a good team and we are improving," said Torbjorn Johansson, Poland's assistant coach following today's defeat. "At the end we are not even close, but I am proud of our team as they are really trying to do their best, but we don't have the quality to play 60 minutes against Denmark."

 

Denmark's first-choice goaltender Frederik Andersen who suffered an upper-body injury late in the their second game against Slovenia was out of contention for this dead rubber of an encounter. Also missing for Denmark were Peter Regin carrying a minor knock and Nichlas Hardt due to illness.

 

Frederik Storm opened the scoring at 3:07 as his wrister from the right point sneaked past Odrobny in Poland's net.

 

Poland who found a burst of form towards the end of the first period, equalised after Kalinowski collected a Michael Cichy's backhand pass to see his effort deflect past Dahm from the right point after 13:10.

 

Failing to covert while on the powerplay at the start of the middle frame, Poland got punished as the lively Nicklas Jensen rounded Odrobny's cage and backhanded it to Bodker who one-timed in home for Denmark to go back in front at 25:53.

 

With just over five minutes left of the middle frame Denmark had scored once again. Urbanowicz was serving a tripping call when Larsen low wrister from the blueline found its way to the back of the net with traffic in front of Odrobny for 3-1.

 

"They are a really skilled team," said Poland's Cichy. "You cannot give them an inch, they got a ton of skill there and always move around the net."

 

Such skills were once again on show early in the final period. Poland's defensive rearguard was caught asleep when Oliver Bjorkstrand picked up an unmarked Nikolaj Ehlers who had ample time to score Denmark's fourth at 42:02.

 

Urbanowicz added a consolation midway through the final stanza for Poland after Kalinowski had snapped the puck off Markus Lauridsen, before Denmark's Madsen rounded off the scoring to 5-2 following a Nicklas Jensen pass behind Odrobny's net at 52:24.

 

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Groups for PyeongChang 2018

Norway, Germany, Slovenia win qualifiers

Groups for PyeongChang 2018

 

 

MEN'S TOURNAMENT

Qualified Nations:

  • :CAN Canada
  • :CZE Czech Republic
  • :FIN Finland
  • :GER Germany
  • :NOR Norway
  • :RUS Russia
  • :SVK Slovakia
  • :SLO Slovenia
  • :KOR South Korea
  • :SWE Sweden
  • :SUI Switzerland
  • :USA United States

 

The groups for the Olympic men’s ice hockey tournament in PyeongChang 2018 are determined as Norway, Germany and Slovenia won the qualification tournaments.

 

The 12-team tournament will be played according to the same format like in Vancouver 2010 and Sochi 2014 with three groups consisting of four teams each with the top-four teams of the overall ranking (including the group winners) earning an entry to the quarter-finals while the remaining eight teams will have to play a qualification playoff game to move to the quarter-finals.

 

The seeding was already done one year ago based on the 2015 IIHF Men’s World Ranking with the top-8 countries and host Korea already set but now the three qualifiers are known and included.

 

Norway was the only host country that won its Final Olympic Qualification group thanks to a late game-winner from Mattias Norstebo in the 2-1 victory over France.

 

Germany ended the Latvian streak of three consecutive tournament wins in the Final Olympic Qualification on home ice (for 2006, 2010 and 2014) by beating the Latvians in Riga 3-2 thanks to Tom Kuhnhackl’s late power-play goal.

 

Both teams will be seeded in the same group with Sweden and Finland in PyeongChang.

 

The bumblebee continues to fly. Like for Sochi 2014, when Slovenia surprisingly qualified against Belarus and Denmark and even reached the quarter-finals at the Olympics, the Slovenes won against the exactly same opponents this week. On Sunday Slovenia beat tournament host Belarus 3-2 in shootout in the deciding game in Minsk. The Slovenes will be seeded with Russia, the United States and Slovakia in Group B in PyeongChang.

 

Group A includes defending Olympic champion Canada, the Czech Republic, Switzerland and host Korea.

 

OLYMPIC ME N' S TOURNAMENT GROUPS

Group A:

  • :CAN Canada
  • :CZE Czech Republic
  • :KOR South Korea
  • :SUI Switzerland

 

Group B:

  • :RUS Russia
  • :SVK Slovakia
  • :SLO Slovenia
  • :USA United States

 

Group C:

  • :FIN Finland
  • :GER Germany
  • :NOR Norway
  • :SWE Sweden

 

 

The qualification for the 2018 Olympic women’s ice hockey tournament will be played during the 2016/2017 hockey season. The top-five nations – USA, Canada, Finland, Russia and Sweden – and host Korea are already qualified while two qualifiers will be known by February.

 

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Slovenia and Slovakia in same group :d

 

Nordic derby in group c!

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and finally these qualis are over...

 

Italy lost also their last match against Kazakhstan, once again after a generous but ineffective performance...they deserved a bit more luck, I guess...but I hope that at least they can learn the right lesson from this tournament, so to avoid relegation at the upcoming Worlds...

and in order to do that, they surely have to be more effective in the offensive end of the rink...

 

and congrats to Germany, Norway and Slovenia for their success...I'm happy especially for our friends from Slovenia and for the great Anze more than anything...:champion:

 

it's been a very entertaining weekend of hockey and I just can't wait for the next big events of the most beautiful sport of the World...:d

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Rok n Roll

Ticar hero as Slovenia does it all over again

Rok n Roll

 

 

Rok Ticar silenced the home crowd three times and his game winning penalty shot sends Slovenia to PyeongChang 2018.

 

“We have once been at the Olympics and said before the game that if we give everything then we can at least look at ourselves in the mirror afterwards, so we kept battling because the prize is unbelievable,” said Ticar, whose game-winning penalty shot won Slovenia a place at their second consecutive Olympics.

 

It was Ticar’s third puck in the net during a dramatic evening in Minsk. The 27-year-old had scored both Slovenia’s goals in regulation time and once again found the net during a nervy penalty-shot shootout.

 

Slovenia had gone 2-0 up within 57 seconds in the second period while being on power play. Belarus then hit back to tie a game where the battle for an Olympic ticket between the teams had to be decided by penalty shots.

 

“The character of this team is indescribable. I think our guys are so passionate to play for our country and every time we come together we believe we can win and I think that is one of the biggest reasons why we did end up winning tonight,” said star forward Anze Kopitar, who was Slovenia's other scorer in the shootout.

 

Andrei Stepanov scored a brace for Belarus in regulation time and also was the lone Belarusian to find the net during the shootout. 22-year-old Mikhail Karnaukhov got a start in goal with Kevin Lalande still suffering from the effects of a hit to his head sustained during their opener against Denmark.

 

“I anticipated a game like this, which would go all the way to the end,” said Belarus head coach Dave Lewis. “The difference between winning and losing at this level is so fine, and in this game it came down to one shot.”

 

After an evenly balanced goalless first period, Slovenia headed into the middle frame playing on power play following a hooking minor by Roman Graborenko. Piling up the pressure, Slovenia soon found themselves on a two-man advantage when Andrei Stas was punished for a game-delaying offence.

 

Slovenia wasted little time to capitalize on such a golden opportunity. Kopitar assisted Ticar, who scored high past Karnaukhov from the right edge of the goal to put Slovenia in front at 1:48 of the second period.

 

57 second later the home crowd of 15,086 watched on in disbelief as Mitja Robar instigated a move from the defensive zone to find Ziga Jeglic rushing through the defensive rearguard of Belarus and Ticar followed up to hit home Slovenia’s second marker at 2:49.

 

Belarus, who earlier this week bounced back after going behind in both of their previous games at the Olympic Qualification, reduced the deficit to a goal when Stepanov scored high past Kroselj from the edge of the slot to give the Minsk Arena crowd a lift and some momentum back.

 

After a missed penalty shot by Slovenia’s Jan Urbas at 8:19 of the third frame, Belarus got the crowd on their feet as they tied the game with just over nine minutes to go when Nick Bailen’s shot was steered home by Stepanov before both teams went ahead squandering fine goal-scoring opportunities before Ticar won the game for Slovenia.

 

In 2013 Nik Zupancic was assistant coach when Slovenia qualified for Sochi 2014. Now head coach of the team, it was a very proud moment for him to once again upset the odds thanks to an excellent team effort.

 

“We grew as a team during the tournament and this is huge for our team to come from such a small country and once again qualify for the Olympics.”

 

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Norway, Sweden, Finland and Germany. I think that Finland wins the group, Sweden 2nd , Germany 3rd and Norway 4th ;):p

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58 minutes ago, Finnator123 said:

Norway, Sweden, Finland and Germany. I think that Finland wins the group, Sweden 2nd , Germany 3rd and Norway 4th ;):p

Shame it couldn't be Finland, Sweden, Norway and Denmark in the same group.

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