Norway, Slovenia and Germany have qualified as the remaining countries to compete in men’s hockey at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea after winning their respective final qualification tournaments Sunday.
Norway was the first country of the day to qualify for the 2018 Olympic Games following a 2-1 win over France on home ice in Oslo. Mattias Norstebo, a 21-year-old defenseman who plays for Frolunda HC in the Swedish League, scored the game-winning goal with less than three minutes to play. New York Rangers winger Mats Zuccarello also scored in the win.
Even the Prime Minister wanted to congratulate Mats Zuccarello for Norway’s Olympic spot. “Greit,” she said. pic.twitter.com/GCha90wCmg
— Risto Pakarinen (@puckarinen) September 4, 2016
Slovenia was next to qualify, with its 3-2 shootout victory over Belarus in enemy territory in Minsk. Rok Ticar, a center for Avtomobilist Yekaterinburg in the KHL, scored twice in regulation and again in the shootout for Slovenia in the win. Los Angeles Kings center Anze Kopitar had an assist and also scored in the shootout for Slovenia, while former Montreal Canadiens and Nashville Predators winger Andrei Kostitsyn missed on the final shootout attempt for Belarus to end the contest.
In Riga, Latvia, Pittsburgh Penguins winger Tom Kuhnhackl scored with just over five minutes to play to lift Germany to a 3-2 win over the host Latvians to earn the last remaining spot in the 2018 Olympics. Edmonton Oilers center Leon Draisaitl also had a goal and an assist for Germany.
— IIHF (@IIHFHockey) September 4, 2016
With the final qualification complete, the groups are now determined for Pyeongchang. Norway and Germany will join Finland and Sweden in Group C, while Slovenia will go up against Russia, the United States and Slovakia in Group B. Group A, which includes Canada, Czech Republic, Switzerland and host Korea, was already set.