Today marks the start of the final qualification tournaments for women’s ice hockey at the 2014 Winter Olympics. They both run through to February 10. The winners of the Group C and Group D tournaments get the final two spots in Sochi, and will join Sweden and Russia in Group B at the Olympics.
Group C is as follows, and is playing in Poprad, Slovakia.
Slovakia will probably win, but I can conceive of Japan or Norway also qualifying. This will be the highest–level tournament Denmark will have played in in several years, so they are probably in over their heads.
Group D is as follows, and is playing in Weiden, Germany.
This tournament is definitely the Group of Death. Germany is probably the favourite, but all teams have a realistic chance of qualifying for Sochi. The final ranking could well come down to tiebreakers. There will be no surprise winner here, as no matter who wins, it won’t be a surprise.
And my long time readers will notice that if my predictions come true, the 2014 Winter Olympics will end up being a virtual rerun of the 2012 World Championship, only with Switzerland and Russia changing places.