h National teams

Salzburg's master goalkeeper could wear red-white-red as early as August. © GEPA/Gintare Karpaviciute

With a naturalized goalie? Austria has a new goal

The historic World Championship in Prague is barely over when Austria's ice hockey heroes are already looking ahead to the next highlight of the season. This is still on the program this summer and could take place with a new personnel appointment.

A disappointing final match deprived Austria's ice hockey team of an exceptional chance. Instead of a possible quarter-final it was said Tuesday's 2-4 defeat against Great Britain Saying goodbye to the World Cup in Prague, which was a historic one for the ÖEHV selection. The next highlight is already waiting in three months.

Even before the championships begin, the next highlight is on the program for Austria's men's ice hockey team. The qualifying tournament for the Olympic Games in February 29 in Milan and Cortina will take place in Bratislava from August 1th to September 2026st. Italy's national team is automatically at the start there as hosts.

2026 Olympics in sight

The ÖEHV team, on the other hand, is hoping for its first Olympic participation since Sochi 2014, but is going into the tournament as outsiders. The opponents are the host team, Kazakhstan and B-World Cup newcomers Hungary, only the winner qualifies for the field of twelve in Milan. Since professionals from the North American leagues can also take part in the summer tournament, Slovakia with its seven NHL regulars is considered the favorite.

There could be reinforcements for the Austrians in goal, although David Kickert and David Madlener put in strong performances at the World Cup in the Czech Republic. The naturalization of Atte Tolvanen is ongoing and the association hopes that it will be completed in time. The 29-year-old Finn won the championship title three times in a row with Salzburg and was voted the play-offs' most valuable player (MVP) in the 2021/22 and 2022/23 seasons.

Roger Bader could be behind the gang in Austria in the long term. © APA/afp / MICHAL CIZEK

With the ticket for Italy 2026, head coach Roger Bader's contract would automatically be extended until the 2026 World Cup in his home country. The Swiss's current contract is valid for another season. If the team successfully competes in two of the three major events in 2024 (World Cup and Olympic qualification) and 2025 (World Cup), the cooperation will be extended by one year. Bader achieved his first success by staying in the league in Prague.

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