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S. Korea to host int'l hockey tournament in Winter Asiad tune-up

All News 15:26 January 02, 2017

By Yoo Jee-ho

SEOUL, Jan. 2 (Yonhap) -- South Korea will host an international hockey tournament next month in a tune-up for the Asian Winter Games, officials said Monday.

The Korea Ice Hockey Association said Goyang in Gyeonggi Province, just northwest of Seoul, will host the Euro Ice Hockey Challenge (EIHC) starting on Feb. 9. South Korea, ranked No. 23, will face No. 13 Denmark, No. 19 Hungary and No. 21 Japan. A round-robin play will determine the champion.

The EIHC is a series of friendly tournaments, held during the international breaks set by the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) in September, November, December and February.

The tournaments have mostly taken place in Europe but have also been held in Japan. South Korea will be hosting an EIHC event for the first time.

Coached by former National Hockey League (NHL) defenseman Jim Paek, South Korea won a November EIHC tournament in Hungary.

The Goyang tournament will be South Korea's last competition before the Asian Winter Games in Sapporo, Japan, which will start on Feb. 19. South Korea will seek to win its first men's hockey gold medal at the continental competition.

Denmark, the top seed, has played at every IIHF World Championship -- open only to the top 16 hockey nations -- since 2003. Hungary will clash with South Korea in the second-tier tournament, IIHF World Championship Division I Group A, in April. South Korea has only beaten Hungary twice in 13 meetings, but the most recent win came in that November EIHC tournament in Hungary.

South Korea will try to defeat Japan for only the second time in their 22 meetings. South Korea's lone victory came at last year's Division I Group A worlds in Poland.


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