The final spots for PyeongChang 2018 will soon be decided, as the 2017 World Para Ice Hockey Paralympic Winter Games Qualification Tournament gets underway Monday (9 September) in Ostersund, Sweden.
Five teams – Czech Republic, Germany, Japan, Slovakia and Sweden – will face off in the round-robin tournament. The competition will be based on a points system, in which the winner records three points. The top three finishers will secure their spots for the Paralympic Winter Games in March, joining Canada, Italy, Norway, South Korea and the USA.
Sweden enter as the favourites with home-ice advantage. The nation just missed out on qualification back in April, following a sixth-place finish at the 2017 World Championships A-Pool in Gangeung, South Korea.
Germany also come in looking for a shot at redemption after a last-place finish in Gangneung. With a revamped roster since those Championships, plus a friendly match against Norway earlier this month, the Germans are aiming for their first Paralympic Winter Games appearance since Torino 2006.
Slovakia have seen success in Ostersund before after claiming the bronze medal at the 2015 Worlds B-Pool; it was the nation’s first medal on the major international stage.
The Czech Republic and Japan are familiar with each other, with the Czechs coming out on top in their last major meeting at the 2016 Worlds B-Pool. It was a similar scene back at the 2015 World Championships A-Pool in Buffalo, USA, where the Japanese were again eliminated by their European counterparts.
Competition begins Monday at 12:00 CEST between the Czech Republic and Slovakia; followed by Germany and Japan 12 15:00, and runs until Saturday (14 September).
All the action will be live streamed on the World Para Ice Hockey website and Facebook page, as well as on the Paralympics YouTube channel. Live results will be available on the Ostersund 2017 results page.
Footage will be available upon request. For further information, please contact IPC Marketing and Commercial Coordinator Alexis Vapaille..
For more information, please visit the official Ostersund 2017 website.