Seven teams with Olympic dreams
by Martin Merk|14 NOV 2021
Germany recently beat Denmark at the 2021 IIHF Ice Hockey Women’s World Championship. Group D in Fussen is the tightest tournament that could potentially end in a three-team tie.
photo: HHOF-IIHF Images
The Final Olympic Qualification comes to an end today with the last games to be played in the Czech Republic, Germany and Sweden. Of the 12 teams that started on Thursday, seven remain in the race for three tickets to the 2022 Olympic Winter Games in Beijing.

In the Chinese capital the three qualifiers will be seeded in Group B with already qualified Japan and host China. The top-five teams USA, Canada, Finland, ROC and Switzerland will play in Group A of the two-tiered Olympic women’s ice hockey tournament.

Group C: Czech Republic & Hungary

Host Czech Republic enters the last day from first place after solid wins while Hungary is tied in points after getting its second win in a dramatic finish against Norway.

That sets up a winner-takes-it-all game in Chomutov between the two unbeaten teams. Whichever team wins the game will become a first-time participant in Olympic women’s ice hockey. In their most recent encounter the Czechs beat Hungary 4-2 at the 2021 IIHF Ice Hockey Women’s World Championship.

The game begins at 16:00. Click here for the live stream.
The Czech Republic recently beat Hungary at the 2021 IIHF Ice Hockey Women's World Championship.
photo: HHOF-IIHF Images

Group D: Denmark, Austria & Germany

Denmark is the only undefeated team of the tournament after two games while Austria and Germany remain in contention with a 1-1 record. The scenario was mainly caused by Austria’s 3-0 upset win over Germany on Thursday.

With the maximum of points after two days, Denmark has it in its own hands. The Danes just need one more point from the game against Germany to claim first place without having to rely on the evening game, which means a win or tie after 60 minutes will be enough.

In case of a loss in regulation time the Danes would not be able to finish first and be overtaken by either Germany or Austria in the final ranking.

If it were only Denmark and Germany with six points while Austria would lose points to Italy, the Germans would finish in first place because the win in the mutual game would be the tie-breaker.

If Germany beat Denmark in regulation time and Austria beat Italy in regulation time in the last game, it would create a three-team tie at six points. The three teams would also be tied in head-to-head points (3), in which case the head-to-head goal difference would be the next criteria. Austria leads with +2 and Germany would have to beat Denmark with a six-goal margin or better to take over. For Austria it means hoping that Germany scores a regulation time win with a margin of no more than five goals in the early game before they would have to beat Italy in regulation time.

Germany vs. Denmark starts at 12:00 followed by Austria vs. Italy at 15:30. Click here for the live stream.

Group E: Sweden & France

Both Sweden and France had solid performances in Lulea and lead the standings with six points and a better goal difference favouring Sweden. But for the final standings it will only matter who wins. It’s a winner-take-all game between host Sweden and France for a ticket to Beijing 2022.

In their only IIHF-sanctioned games, Sweden had two one-goal wins against France at the 2019 IIHF Ice Hockey Women’s World Championship that ended with relegation for both teams. More recently the two teams played exhibition games with Sweden winning two out of three games in Albertville in August and got an 8-0 win in a pre-competition game last Sunday.

Can the Swedes do it again? If not, they would miss out on the Olympic women’s ice hockey tournament for the first time while the French women’s national team would participate at the Olympics for the first time.

The game starts at 19:00. Click here for the live stream.
Sweden and France met in four exhibition games in the past three months with Sweden getting three wins.
photo: HHOF-IIHF Images