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Slovenia, Germany, Norway qualify for Olympics

12-team field set for 2018 tournament in PyeongChang @NHL

Slovenia, Norway and Germany each clinched a spot Sunday in the 2018 PyeongChang Olympics. 

The three countries complete the 12-team field that will play in South Korea. They join Canada, the United States, Sweden, Finland, Russia, Switzerland, Slovakia, the Czech Republic and South Korea.

Forward Rok Ticar scored the winning goal in a shootout to give Slovenia a 3-2 win against Belarus in the Group D final of the Olympic qualifying tournament in Minsk.

Ticar had both of Slovenia's goals during regulation and Anze Kopitar (Los Angeles Kings) also scored in the shootout and had an assist.

Andrei Stepanov scored two goals for Belarus.

It is the second straight time Slovenia has qualified for the Olympics. It finished seventh in Sochi in 2014, its first trip to the Olympics.

According to the International Ice Hockey Federation, the three four-team groups for PyeongChang are:

Group A: Canada, Czech Republic, Switzerland, South Korea.

Group B: Russia, United States, Slovakia, Slovenia.

Group C: Sweden, Finland, Norway, Germany.

Group E    

Germany 3, Latvia 2 - Forward Tom Kuhnhackl (Pittsburgh Penguins) scored the power-play game-winner with 5:09 left in the third period in Riga. 

Center Leon Draisaitl (Edmonton Oilers) had a goal and an assist for Germany, which failed to qualify in 2014 after 16 straight Olympic appearances from 1952 to 2010. 

Kaspars Daugavins had two assists for Latvia, which had qualified for the past four Olympics. 

Group F

Norway 2, France 1 - Mattias Norstebo scored the game-winner with 2:29 left in the third period in Oslo. 

Forward Mats Zuccarello (New York Rangers) also scored for Norway, which will compete in its third straight Olympics and 12th overall.

Forward Yorick Treille scored for France, which hasn't qualified for the Olympics since 2002.

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