Germany needed to beat Latvia to ensure qualification for the Winter Olympics in 2018. Tom Kühnhackl of the Stanley Cup champions, the Pittsburgh Penguins, scored a late winner to seal a 3-2 win.
Germany's national ice hockey team qualified for the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang with a 3-2 victory over Latvia in Riga on Sunday.
Tom Kühnhackl of the Stanley Cup champions, the Pittsburgh Penguins, got the winning goal at 14:51 of the third period.
Leon Draisaitl and Felix Schütz had put Germany in complete control as they went into a 2-0 lead early in the second period.
However, Latvia, playing in front of a loud home crowd, fought back to even the score at 2-2, early in the third period, putting the game on a knife edge until Kühnhackl's winner eight minutes later.
"Things couldn't be going any better for me at the moment," Kühnhackl told German broadcaster Sport 1 afterwards. "When you are up 2-0, nerves play a role. But we stood together as a team," he said.
This was Germany's third win in their three games in the Olympic-qualifying tournament, after a 5-0 win over Japan and a 6-0 win over Austria.
This makes them Germany's first team and athletes to qualify for Pyeongchang 2018.