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Durban Sandshark

Pyongchang 2018 Ice Hockey Qualifications

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Two spots are up for grabs in the women's game to go along with Canada, USA, Sweden, Finland, Russia, and hosts South Korea with the Olympic Qualification Tournaments going on in Astana, Kazakhstan and in San Sebastian, Spain with round robin play.

Certainly looks as though the top-seeded Kazak women will run away with winning their group to a trip to Pyongchang with one more game to go with a 2-0 and Great Britain left to play entering tomorrow. Mexico is pretty much out being winless and so will Poland regardless of their upcoming game together.  

San Sebastian's group has hosts Spain, The Netherlands, Italy, and Slovenia. The Dutch blows out Slovenia 14-1 and Italy's Azzurri beats Spain 2-0 to start the first of competition today. From the looks of things it'll be between The Netherlands and 2006 participants Italy. 

 

 

 

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No they haven't yet. Spain has its two remaining games to play. Still believe Italy will make it, as they're the favorite in this group and have some Olympic experience.

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Yeah the direct qualification tourneys will actually be in Switzerland and Japan in February next year.

Group E will see France, Italy, Latvia, and China with Group F showing Kazakhstan, Norway, Hungary, and Slovakia. Both in December.

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France qualifies out of the Group E women's ice hockey qualification tournament it hosted in Cergy-Pontoise this past month to the final one by finishing ahead of Italy, Latvia, and China. Norway also makes it into the other tournament (Group F) that was going on at the same time Stavanger, Norway taking first over Slovakia, Hungary, and Kazakhstan.

From February 9-12, two tournaments will go on with hosts Japan, France, Germany, and Austria in Group C in Tomakomai, Japan and Group D seeing Norway, Czech Republic, Denmark, and hosts Switzerland in Arosa, Switzerland. My early picks will be Switzerland and France, though Germany certainly is capable, that will advance to Pyongchang. 

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Women's ice hockey qualification tournaments have started today in Arosa, Switzerland and Tomakomai, Japan. Today was nothing but easy wins. Switzerland blasts Denmark 6-1 that saw one of its top Swiss players Lara Statler score a hat trick. The Czech Republic scored a 5-0 shutout on Norway that I saw live on YouTube. Co-hosts Japan beats Austria by the same 6-1 score. Only really competitive match on the first day was Germany and France, the picks from Japan I think will either of them head to Pyongchang. Thier game was 3-2 in Germany's favor that went into a shootout. Whoever wins this will go there. So I'll revise it and say Germany. I also noticed a lot of these teams are really young and fresh off the junior ranks

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After a day off, the German and Swiss women are now one game away from qualifying to Pyeongchang. Germany, aka the Eagle Carriers, knocked off Austria 4-1 for a date with hosts Japan in the final game, who defeat France 4-1 in Tomakomai. Les Bleues disappoint me a bit in Tomakomai, Japan: 

http://www.sportschau.de/weitere/eishockey/eishockey-frauen-olympia-qualifiaktion-104.html

http://w-groupd.pyeongchang2018.iihf.hockey/en/news/japan-defeats-france/

Arosa, Switzerland is set for a collision course winner-take-all for the other direct Olympic spot tomorrow between hosts Switzerland and the Czech Republic. The Swiss down Norway, the Polar Bears, also 4-1 with the Czechs stopping Denmark's pesky Danish Lions 4-3, a team that's gaining serious high-level international experience:

http://w-groupc.pyeongchang2018.iihf.hockey/en/news/switzerland-norway/

http://w-groupc.pyeongchang2018.iihf.hockey/en/news/cze_den/

 

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