Germany thrashed Austria to pick up their second win of the tournament ©IIHF

Germany moved a step closer to booking their place in the ice hockey tournament at Pyeongchang 2018 after they thrashed Austria 6-0 to secure their second victory in Group E of the final Olympic qualification tournament in Riga.

The German team, who swept aside Japan in their opening game, missed out on Sochi 2014 but are now just a win away from securing an Olympic spot at the Games in Pyeongchang.

The world number 10 ranked side proved far too strong for their Austrian opponents as goals from Marcus Goc, Patrick Hager, Moritz Muller, Patrick Reimer, Felix Schutz and Leon Draisaitl gave the Germans a comprehensive triumph.

The defeat for the Austrians ends their slim chances of progressing through to the Olympic ice hockey competition in the South Korean resort.

"We didn’t expect it," Germany goaltender Philipp Grubauer said.

"When you come into a tournament, you don’t know what happens, you don’t know the other teams so well.

“We just play our game, it’s important to do that for 60 minutes.

“It’s great for us here, we gel together well.

"Now it’s all about one game we have to win."

Slovenia also secured their second win of the competition by beating Denmark in Group D ©IIHF
Slovenia also secured their second win of the competition by beating Denmark in Group D ©IIHF

He added: "They [Latvia, who Germany face last] play in their own arena, in their own country.

“They will come out like a bat out of hell and they’re a strong team that scored a lot of goals.”

Latvia beat Japan 3-1 the other Group E contest today.

The hosts will now face a straight play-off with Germany on Sunday (September 4), with the winner qualifying for Pyeongchang 2018.

In Group D in Belarusian capital Minsk, Slovenia also picked up their second win of the tournament as they overcame Denmark 3-0.

After a scoreless opening stanza, Sabahudin Kovacevic gave the Slovenians the lead early in the second period.

They were made to wait until the third period to wrap up the victory as Jan Urbas put the result beyond all doubt.

Hosts Belarus ousted Poland 5-3 in the evening's Group D clash.

In Group F in Oslo, France sealed their first victory in normal time as they breezed past Kazakhstan 4-1, while Norway beat Italy by the same scoreline.