Slovenia overcame Belarus in a shootout to qualify for the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympics ©IIHF

Slovenia, Norway and Germany all secured their spot in the ice hockey competition at Pyeongchang 2018 by winning their respective groups at the Final Olympic Qualification tournament today.

The Slovenians overcame hosts Belarus in Group D with a dramatic shootout win after the match had finished level at 2-2 following regulation time.

Germany's clash against Latvia in Riga looked as though it was also heading for penalties before the visitors scored a decisive goal in the dying stages to emerge on the right side of a 3-2 scoreline in Group E.

Hosts Norway booked their ticket to Pyeongchang after Mattias Norstebo struck a late winner to guide them to a 2-1 victory over France in Group F Jordal Amfi in Oslo.

With the contest locked at 1-1, Norstebo reacted quickest after a goalmouth scramble to lift the puck high into the net and guarantee Norway a place at the Winter Olympics.

The results saw the trio join already qualified Finland, Sweden, Canada, Russia, United States, Czech Republic, Switzerland and Slovakia, as well as hosts South Korea, in reaching Pyeongchang 2018.

Mattias Norstebo struck a late winner to give Norway a 2-1 victory over France ©IIHF
Mattias Norstebo struck a late winner to give Norway a 2-1 victory over France ©IIHF

The sold-out arena in the Norwegian capital were treated to an enthralling encounter between Norway and France, with the match-up a straight play-off for the one available Olympic berth on offer in the group.

The first period proved to be a nail-biting affair as neither side wanted to give too much away and the deadlock was not broken until early in the second stanza.

France captain Laurent Meunier sent a long pass forward which was briefly intercepted by Ole-Kristian Tollefsen but it fell kindly for Yorick Treille, whose clever finish gave his side the early advantage.

That goal seemed to reinvigorate the Norwegian challenge and they were level five minutes later thanks to National Hockey League player Mats Zuccarello, who plies his trade for the New York Rangers.

From that point on, the home nation took control but were made to wait until two minutes from time to find the goal which sent the world number 11 ranked side through to Pyeongchang 2018.

In the other match in Group F, which proved to be a dead rubber, Kazakhstan ended a disappointing campaign by overcoming Italy 3-2.

In Group D, Denmark thrashed Poland 5-2, while Austria beat Japan 3-0 in the last contest in Group E.