USA first, tough battle for PyeongChang 2018
The report includes all World Ranking points from the Women’s World Championships and Olympics between 2013 and 2015 with just the numbers from the 2016 IIHF Ice Hockey Women’s World Championship to be added in April to get the final 2016 IIHF Women’s World Ranking.
The United States are first with 2,360 points followed by Canada with the same number of points. (The result from the last event is the tie-breaker.) That means whichever of the two North American rivals fares better in the upcoming 2016 IIHF Ice Hockey Women’s World Championship will also be ranked first in the 2016 IIHF Women’s World Ranking.
This ranking will be more important than the last ones since it will determine the seeding for the 2018 Olympic Women’s Ice Hockey Tournament including determining the five automatically qualified teams and the seeding for the Olympic Qualification tournaments to be played during the 2016/2017 ice hockey season.
The top-5 teams from the 2016 IIHF Women’s World Ranking and host Korea will be automatically qualified while other nations can earn one of the two additional spots through the Olympic Qualification events.
The points indicate that the USA and Canada are already qualified no matter how they end up in Kamloops while the chances for the Czech Republic and for Germany (plays in Division I) are zero and for Japan slim to gain enough points in order to move to fifth place or higher in the new World Ranking.
Therefore it’s mainly Finland, Switzerland, Sweden and Russia that will battle for the three remaining spots for direct qualification to PyeongChang 2018. The teams that reach the semi-finals will make it, the others will have to wait, see and calculate.
The team from this quartet that doesn’t make it will as consolation have the right to host one of the two Final Olympic Qualification tournaments in February 2017. This right can be used by the top-ranked teams (6th and 7th) that don’t reach the top-5 and direct qualification for PyeongChang 2018.
The other team getting that right will likely be Japan. The Japanese will overtake 7th-ranked Germany, which will not earn enough points to defend its position after being relegated last year and playing in the Division I Group A tournament this spring. The Czech Republic also have a theoretical chance to take seventh place in the World Ranking but will likely need to finish three or four positions better than the Japanese in Kamloops to overtake the Asians.
The nations ranked 6th to 11th will get a spot in the Final Olympic Qualification that will take place in two groups from 9 to 12 February 2017. Preliminary Rounds will take place with other teams in August and November 2016. Click here for more information on the Olympic Qualification for the men’s and women’s ice hockey tournaments of the 2018 Olympic Winter Games.
Click here for the 2016 Women’s Pre-Championship Report.
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