Japan beats Romania in Olympic ice hockey qualifier

Associated Press

11/9/2012 1:01:04 PM

NIKKO, Japan - Japan beat Romania 2-0 in the first round of Olympic ice hockey qualifying on Friday for the 2014 Sochi Games.

Tetsuya Saito scored in the first period and Takuro Yamashita in the third for host Japan, which is seeking its first Olympic berth since automatically qualifying as host of the 1998 Nagano Olympics.

Former Los Angeles Kings goaltender Yutaka Fukufuji made 22 saves for the shutout.

South Korea beat Britain 5-4 in Friday's other game. The winner of the round-robin will advance to the final round of qualifying in February.

Three teams can earn berths for the Sochi Olympics through qualifying to join the top nine teams from the International Ice Hockey Federation's world rankings.