GRAZ, AUSTRIA – Japan capped a stellar week by beating France 4-0 and making it five wins out of five at the second-tier women’s ice hockey world championships on Friday.
Smile Japan, which had already secured promotion to the top division a day earlier with a 4-1 victory over Austria at Merkur Arena, finished atop the Group A competition table with 15 points while Austria took second with 12 points.
“At last night’s meeting we talked about how we wanted to play well today and carry that momentum into the (2018 Pyeongchang) Olympics. We played with that in mind,” said captain Chiho Osawa.
“We did better here than we did in the games leading to the Sochi Olympics (in 2014). We’ve improved as a team and everyone knows what they have to do to win,” she added.