The Euro Ice Hockey Challenge consisting of lower-seeded top-division teams as well as Division I nations organized three tournaments during the February international break.
Austria won its tournament in the new arena in Graz on home ice. Raphael Herburger scored the 2-1 overtime winner against Slovakia’s B-team to open the tournament before beating eventual runner-up Norway 2-1 in overtime as well. Lukas Haudum tied the game for Austria with 4:46 left in regulation time and Manual Ganahl scored the game-winner in a shootout. The Austrians sealed the tournament win after beating France 3-1 on the last day. Both goalies played outstanding with Bernhard Starkbaum having a 95.6 save percentage in two games and Lukas Herzog reaching 97.0 in his game.
Korea hosted its EIHC tournament in Goyang in the Seoul region where it hosted a Division I tournament three years ago. It was a tight race with Denmark, Hungary and Korea each winning two games and earning six points while Japan was winless. The Danes started with a 4-2 loss to host Korea in front of a full house with 2,207 fans but bounced back with wins against Japan (6-1) and Hungary (5-1). Denmark needed to beat Hungary with a margin of at least three goals to win the tournament on the last day and did so. Julian Jacobsen scored the 4-1 goal on a two-man advantage in the third period that won his team the tournament, the fifth goal went into the empty net.
The event in Poland included two countries that were promoted to the 2017 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship one year ago in the same city, Katowice. Slovenia did its job right winning all three games against Poland, Italy and Ukraine with 16-5 goals. Jan Urbas was most successful with four goals and nine points followed by his teammate Miha Verlic scored three goals and notched five points.