The Olympic Qualifying tournaments for the men’s side have concluded with Latvia, Denmark, and Slovakia booking themselves a trip to China at the start of 2022.
The Latvian path was the easiest – the team managed to win all three games in their group while allowing only a single goal against their opponents at their home – Arena ‘’Riga’’.
Slovak’s on the other hand ruined the day for Belarus. Both teams faced off in a deciding game with the Olympics at stake. For Belarus it was clear as a day – they needed a win in regulation to qualify while for Slovakia a win or at least making it past regulation was enough to book their ticket.
In Oslo – the hosts Norway were the clear favorites, however, they couldn’t manage to stop Denmark – a team that surprised many, meaning that Norway has to stay at home but Denmark with help of Nikolai Ehlers will head to China to represent their teams at the biggest hockey forum.
And what a day it was – right after Olympic qualification tournaments ended the first rumblings appeared that the NHL, IOC, IIHF, and NHLPA are close to reaching an agreement to send the world’s best players to participate at the tournament. Clearly huge for the European side as teams that qualified have the option to call upon NHL’s players to help them make it and now they will be able to! With no question, Team Canada and the USA will benefit from having their top guns as well.
Olympic Winter Games, Men’s Ice Hockey Tournament Groups:
Group A: Canada, USA, Germany, China
Group B: Russian Olympic Committee, Czech Republic, Switzerland, Denmark
Group C: Finland, Sweden, Slovakia, Latvia
The 2022 Olympic men’s ice hockey tournament will be played according to the same format used in PyeongChang 2018, Sochi 2014 and Vancouver 2010 with three groups of four teams each. The best four teams from an overall 12-team ranking – the group winners and the second-ranked team with the best record – will advance to the quarter-finals while the other teams will play a qualification playoff game.