The Slovenia Times

Ice Hockey: Slovenia Looking for Ticket to Return to Elite Group


Eliminated at the World Championships in Sweden in 2013, Slovenia have made the return to the elite group their main goal after qualifying for the Sochi Olympics.

Their Cinderella run at the Winter Olympics in February has increased hopes that the country will be able to take one of the two places which guarantee a berth in the top-flight for the 2015 championships.

Standing in their way at the round-robin tournament are hosts South Korea, Japan, Ukraine, Hungary and Austria.

The latter, Slovenia's archrivals in numerous international competitions, are considered the favourites. The teams will square off on the final day of the tournament on Saturday.

While Slovenia beat Austria 4:0 in Sochi, they will have a more difficult time without some of their biggest stars who are on club duty in playoffs around the world.

Anže Kopitar, Slovenia's only NHL talent, is among them, forcing his father, Matjaž Kopitar, to revamp the team from Sochi with a number of up-and-rising players.


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