Austria, Latvia, Slovenia qualifiy for Sochi Olympic hockey

Associated Press

2/10/2013 6:09:14 PM

FRANKFURT, Germany -- Austria qualified for next year's hockey tournament at the Sochi Olympics despite a 3-2 loss to Germany in overtime Sunday.

Germany lost to Italy 2-1 a day earlier and needed to win in regulation to avoid missing out on the Olympics for the first time.

Austria won the four-nation qualifying tournament in Bietigheim-Bissingen ahead of host Germany, Italy and the Netherlands.

Meanwhile, Slovenia and Latvia also qualified for the Sochi Games in tournaments held in Denmark and Latvia respectively.

Austria will be drawn with Canada, Finland and Norway in one round robin play. Slovenia will be grouped in another pool with Russia, Slovakia and the United States.

Latvia, meanwhile will be grouped with the Czech Republic, Sweden and Switzerland.

The winner of each group as well as the second-place finisher with the best record through round-robin play will all receive byes to the quarter-finals. The remaining eight teams will be forced to play a qualification game for the right to play in the quarter-finals.

- With files from