CALGARY, FEB. 17 -- Unbeaten West Germany virtually assured itself a spot in the Olympic hockey medal round with a come-from-behind 3-1 victory over winless but surprisingly tough Austria today.

Helmut Steiger broke a 1-1 tie with his third goal of the Olympics 38 seconds into the second period while West Germany had a two-man advantage.

The sixth-seeded West Germans (3-0) still must play the second-seeded Soviet Union and the seventh-seeded United States in their remaining two games before the six-team medal round.

Austria, which already has lost to the United States, 10-6, and the Soviet Union, 8-1, is 0-3 after playing its best game of the tournament. It will play Czechoslovakia before having its best chance for a victory in its finale with 10th-seeded Norway.

Seeded 11th in a 12-team field, the Austrians scored first on Werner Kerth's third goal of the tournament. Goalie Karl Friesen made a save on Bernie Hutz's shot, but Kerth poked in the rebound from just outside the crease at 1:59 of the first period.

Czechoslovakia 10, Norway 1:

Continuing to rebound from its opening-game loss, Czechoslovakia moved into the thick of the Olympic medal race.

Since the 2-1 loss to West Germany, the third-seeded Czechoslovaks have stormed back, overcoming two three-goal deficits to defeat the United States, 7-5, and then outshot Norway by 35-11.

With its next game against Austria (0-3) Czechoslovakia will be heavily favored to improve its record to 3-1.