The importance of IIHF 2015 World ice hockey Championship in one night has grown from “another one” to a real chance for Latvia to qualify automatically for 2018 Winter Olympic Games. The IIHF announced - “The qualification structure for the Olympic men’s tournament will have an immediate impact on the upcoming IIHF World Championship, as the 2015 IIHF World Ranking will be used to seed the top eight automatic entries and the men’s qualification program.” This announcement (for me at least) came like thunder from clear sky.
What are the options
The qualification for Winter Olympic Games men’s hockey tournament hasn’t changed since 2006 Winter Olympic Games in Torino - eight nations plus host nation automatically qualify. Another three teams are found out in “Olympic qualification program”. Latvian men's national ice hockey team has never qualified automatically for the Winter Olympic Games, what are the odds this time?
The math for qualifying to 2018 Winter Olympic Games is simple. In my opinion the only competition will be for 8th place between Slovakia and Latvia. There are four scenarios how Latvia can qualify automatically for 2018 Winter Olympic Games:
What are the odds
This sudden announcement has made this IIHF 2015 World Championship the most important World Championship tournament in the years, because we’ve never been so close to qualify automatically for a Winter Olympic Games. There is 50 days till the 2015 World Championship opening game. The line ups of course are unknown, but we can look at the previous games and statistics.
See the related post - All game results of Latvia men's national ice hockey team since 1992
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