Germany scored two quick goals in the third period to defeat Austria 4-1 in their second game of the Final Olympic Qualification Group D.
Daria Gleissner scored on a power play with seven minutes left in the third and Kerstin Spielberger widened the lead just 22 seconds later with a backhand from close range that beat Austria goaltender Theresa Hornich.
“We had a lot of chances to score in the first two periods but couldn’t take advantage,” Gleissner said. “So that third goal was the one that opened things up and allowed us to win.”
Germany will face host Japan on Sunday with a chance to qualify for the Pyeongchang Games.
The Germans took the lead midway through the first period when Andrea Lanzl beat Austria goaltender Theresa Hornich with a wrister high on the stick side.
But Austria came right back less than a minute later when Esther Kantor picked up a generous rebound and jammed it home.
Austria was penalized with just over six minutes remaining in the first and Germany took advantage with Tanja Eisenschmid scoring on a slap shot from the blue line.
Germany beat France 3-2 in its first game while Austria was trounced 6-1 by host Japan.
Austria was penalized three times in the second period but Germany couldn’t take advantage of their power play opportunites. When they did get a scoring chance, Hornich was there to make a big save.
“Sometimes your power play works, sometimes it doesn’t,” Germany coach Benjamin Hinterstocker said. “It’s not something I’m worried about.”
Eight teams will play in the women’s tournament in Pyeongchang. The United States, Canada, Russia, Sweden and Finland have already qualified along with South Korea which earns a spot as the host nation.
Japan, which plays France on Saturday, will present a big challenge for the German team.
“Japan is bringing a great effort to every game,” Hinterstocker said. “They are highly skilled and fast so I’m looking forward to playing against them.”
Only the winner of Group D will qualify for the 2018 Games.