WEDEN, Germany, Feb. 7 (Xinhua) -- Pre-tournament favorites Germany overcame China 3-1 in their first match of the women's ice hockey qualification tournament of 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi.
Winning the shots 16-6, eighth-ranked Germany opened the account through Julia Zorn's strike 10:52 into the encounter.
After they got used to Germany's game, 13-ranked China launched a strong comeback in the second period. Assisted by Zhang Ben and Jin Fengling, China's star striker Sun Rui tied the game 1-1 at 10:24 of the second period and helped the Chinese team remain in the game.
Germany finally withstood the Chinese pressure, with 8:41 left Tanja Eisenschmid scored from a feed by Manuela Anwander to give the Germans a 2-1 lead, and minutes later, Zorn grabbed her second of the evening to make it 3-1 and the German team moved one step closer to Sochi.
China will be looking to atone themselves on Saturday against Kazakhstan. The Czech Republic, who earlier beat Kazakhstan 5-1, will be next up for Germany.
The top five teams in the world rankings and host Russia have received automatic berths in the Olympics, and all other teams will have an opportunity to qualify for the remaining two spots.
The two pre-qualification winners join the teams ranked seventh through 20th, to determine the final two Olympic qualifiers. Two round robins will be played from February 7-10, 2013 in Poprad, Slovakia and Weiden, Germany. The winners of each group qualify for the Olympics.