With three wins after two defeats, the team coached by Kari Savolainen came close to qualifying for a return to the elite of world hockey. When the result against Italy stood at 3-3 in the final third of the match, the Slovenian team kept on attacking to win, coming nearest to a goal in the 53rd minute but the shot by Sabahudin Kovačević was stopped by the goalpost.
A good minute before the end, Slovenia decided to go for all or nothing – without a goalkeeper – since winning in extra time or with penalty shootings would not mean anything. They did not succeed; their fate was sealed by Diego Kostner, who sent the puck into the empty goal two seconds before the end. The goal shot ratio was 34-33 for Slovenia.