The Slovenia Times

Slovenia Again in Ice Hockey World Elite


The good news that Slovenia's best ice hockey player Anže Kopitar will play for the national team as he finished his professional season earlier than usual, with his Los Angeles Kings failing to make the NHL play-offs

Slovenia is an underdog in Group B in Ostrava also featuring Finland, Russia, the US, Slovakia, Norway, Belarus and Denmark, and will look to avoid finishing among the bottom two and being relegated to Division I.

Group A, which will play in Prague, meanwhile features Sweden, Canada, the Czech Republic, Switzerland, Latvia, France, Germany and Austria. Top four teams from each group will advance to the quarter-final round.

The Lynxes are coming off a historic result at the 2014 Sochi Olympics, which were the first ever for the nation's ice hockey team. The team was the surprise of the tournament, making it to the quarter-finals against powerhouse Sweden.

Slovenia followed the Olympic success by taking second place at the World Division I Championships in South Korea in April 2014, securing a berth in this year's elite group tournament in the Czech Republic.

The line-up is similar to that from Sochi and besides Kopitar as the main star features many veterans and proven players, including Jan Muršak of CSKA Moscow and Tomaž Razingar, who plays professionally in Sweden.

The team has played out four friendly matches ahead of the tournament, beating Croatia, Japan and Austria and losing the last match to Germany on Wednesday.


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