The second leg of Olympic Qualification is in the books, with Japan, Poland and Italy emerging victorious in the Pre-Qualification Round to advance to the Final Qualification round in September, with the winners moving on to Korea in 2018.
Group G, Cortina d’Ampezzo 🇮🇹
The hosts Italy upended Great Britain 6-2 in the final game of the round, on the strength of two goals and an assist from Christian Borgatello. Italy, who was also grouped with the Netherlands and Serbia, now advances to Group F with France, Kazakhstan and Norway.
Group H, Budapest 🇭🇺
Poland gained a measure of revenge for their defeat on home ice by Hungary that sent them to the 2016 Worlds with a win on enemy ice of their own, edging out the Maygars 1-0 on a shootout winner by Krzystzof Zapała. Poland, who was also grouped with Estonia and Lithuania, now advances to Group D with Belarus, Denmark and Slovenia.
Group J, Sapporo 🇯🇵
Japan made it one step closer to nearby territory in Korea with a narrow 2-1 victory over Ukraine, with Daisuke Obara netting the game winning goal. Japan, who was also grouped with Croatia and Romania, now advances to Group E with Austria, Germany and Latvia.
The final host cities in and dates for the Final Qualification Round will be announced in the coming weeks, and it will be before long that the final pieces of the PyeongChang puzzle are in place for 2018!
Photo Credit: IIHF Facebook – IIHF – HHOF – IOC