Twelve teams gear up for women’s ice hockey Olympic pre-qualification tournament 

Round two of pre-qualification is set to take place across Great Britain, Italy and Poland (7-10 October), with three teams advancing to November’s Final Olympic Qualification tournament. Watch it live on Olympics.com. 

By Sean McAlister
Picture by 2017 Getty Images

Three nations will take one step closer to qualifying for the Beijing 2022 women’s ice hockey tournament, as round two of the Olympic pre-qualification takes place from 7-10 October.

The teams have been split into three groups of four, with the winners of each group claiming a place in the final Olympic qualification tournament that will take place from 11-14 November.

Group F, which includes Republic of Korea, Great Britain, Slovenia and Iceland, will take place in Nottingham, England, while Torre Pellice in Italy will play host to Italy, Kazakhstan, Spain and Chinese Taipei in Group G.

The last four teams with a chance of moving forward to the final qualification tournament are Netherlands, Poland, Mexico and Turkey, who play in Group H in Bytom, Poland.

Group F preview

Nottingham’s National Ice Centre will take centre stage as the four teams in Group F battle it out between Thursday to Sunday this week.

Games will take place on 7, 8 and 10 October, with each team playing each other once before points decide the final winner on Sunday 10 October.

Republic of Korea enter the tournament as favourites due to their current rank of 17 in the world. They will be competing against Slovenia (23 in the world), Great Britain (24) and Iceland (31).

Hosts Great Britain have opted for youth over experience to lead them on their quest for Olympic qualification, with five debutants and seven teenagers named in the squad. Among the names, Casey Traill will be one to keep a close eye on, after she recently made history by becoming the first Briton to be picked in the NWHL draft.

Republic of Korea, who competed at PyeongChang 2018 as part of the Unified Korea Team, are the only squad in the group with prior Olympic experience. They will be looking to capitalise on their favourites tag as they take aim for a spot at Beijing 2022.

Group F schedule (all times CET):

  • Slovenia vs Republic of Korea - 7 October, 14:00
  • Great Britain vs Iceland - 7 October, 19:15
  • Republic of Korea vs Iceland - 8 October, 14:00
  • Great Britain vs Slovenia - 8 October, 19:00
  • Iceland vs Slovenia - 10 October, 13:00
  • Great Britain vs Republic of Korea - 10 October, 17:00

You can watch Group F of the Olympic pre-qualification tournament live on Olympics.com

Group G preview

Group G hosts Italy come into the competition as favourites based on their current world ranking of 16. If they are to progress to the final qualifier, they will need to navigate their way past Kazakhstan (21 in the world), Spain (25) and Chinese Taipei (30).

Two teams from Group G have competed before at a Winter Olympic Games, with Italy finishing 8th in 2006 and Kazakhstan 8th in 2002.

Italy’s hopes of progressing will rely on the experience and leadership of their 28-year-old captain, Carola Saletta, who has represented the nation on 58 occasions since her debut in 2009. Spain, who have a squad with an average age of 21, will be hoping the faith they have placed in the new generation will pay dividends with Olympic qualification on the line.

Group G schedule (all times CET)

  • Kazakhstan vs Chinese Taipei - 7 October, 16:00
  • Spain vs Italy - 7 October, 20:15
  • Kazakhstan vs Spain - 8 October, 16:00
  • Italy vs Chinese Taipei - 8 October, 20:15
  • Chinese Taipei vs Spain - 10 October, 16:00
  • Italy vs Kazakhstan - 10 October, 20:15

You can watch Group F of the Olympic pre-qualification tournament live on Olympics.com

Group H preview

Netherlands and tournament hosts Poland - ranked 18 and 19 in the world - will be installed as favourites in Group H, when the third of the Olympic pre-qualification tournaments takes place in Bytom, Poland. Netherlands warmed up for the tournament with a 0-3 loss and 3-2 win in back-to-back friendly games against Italy at the end of August.

While none of the teams in the group have ever qualified for the Olympics, the game between the two highest-ranked nations will make for an intriguing finale when they face off on Sunday 10 October.

Mexico and Turkey make up the rest of the group, with the former ranked 26 and the latter 28 in the world.

Group H schedule (all times CET)

  • Poland vs Turkey - 7 October, 15:30
  • Netherlands vs Mexico - 7 October, 19:30
  • Turkey vs Netherlands - 8 October, 16:00
  • Poland vs Mexico - 8 October, 20:00
  • Netherlands vs Poland - 10 October, 12:15
  • Mexico vs Turkey - 10 October, 16:15

What’s at stake?

The winners of the three Olympic pre-qualification tournaments will progress to the final Olympic qualifying tournaments that will take place in Czech Republic, Germany and Sweden from 11-14 November 2021.

The three qualifiers will join teams ranked 7th to 15th in the world, with each battling it out for the final three places at Beijing 2022.

Teams that have already qualified for Beijing 2022 include hosts People’s Republic of China and the six highest-ranked nations in the world, United States, Canada, Finland, ROC, Switzerland and Japan.

The Beijing 2022 Olympic ice hockey tournament begins one day before the Opening Ceremony on 3 February and runs through 17 February, 2021.