U.S. grouped with Russia in 2018 Winter Olympic men’s hockey tournament
The U.S. men’s hockey team will be in a group with Russia, Slovakia and a nation yet to qualify at the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Games.
The top eight nations from the International Ice Hockey Federation world rankings after the 2015 World Championship ended Sunday automatically qualified for the 12-nation 2018 Olympic hockey tournament. More from the IIHF here.
South Korea also gets a spot as host nation, leaving three more nations to round out the field via qualification tournaments in September 2016.
Here are the 2018 Olympic men’s hockey groups (IIHF world ranking):
|Group A||Group B||Group C|
|Canada (1)||Russia (2)||Sweden (3)|
|Czech Republic (6)||USA (5)||Finland (4)|
|Switzerland (7)||Slovakia (8)||Qualifier 1|
|South Korea||Qualifier 3||Qualifier 2|
The U.S., Russia and Slovakia were also in the same group at Sochi 2014, with the U.S. winning the group to earn an automatic quarterfinal berth. Russia, Slovakia and Slovenia finished behind the U.S. and advanced to play-in games to reach the quarters.
It’s not yet known if NHL players will compete in the 2018 Olympics, as they have at each of the last five Winter Games.