STEINDORF, Austria – The 2016 IIHF Inline Hockey Qualification Europe has started after Brazil and New Zealand had previously been determined as qualifiers from the other regions for 2017. All games from the Austrian town of Steindorf are streamed live.
FYR Macedonia had a historic opening day with an 11-5 victory against Bulgaria. It was the first time the country won a game in IIHF play after having previously lost 10 games in the IIHF Inline Hockey World Championship Qualification. In the last game against Bulgaria in 2014 the team lost 6-3 and in the years before even 14-3 and 28-2. The team enjoyed a 5-0 lead already early in the second period with Dmitri Prokudin scoring a hat trick in the first half of the game.
The tournament opened on Wednesday with Israel’s 7-6 edging of Belgium. The game went back and forth and Israel forward Ilya Spektor proved that it actually is possible to single-handedly outscore an opponent as the 20-year-old, who captained the men’s ice hockey national team this season, scored the first six goals of his team.
Latvia, which together with Austria was relegated to the qualification, started with a clear 30-1 victory over Turkey while host Austria started with a convincing 11-2 victory against Serbia.
The eight-team preliminary round is played in two groups of four teams during the first three days. The group winners will play for a spot in the 2017 IIHF Inline Hockey World Championship in the final game on Saturday night. Click here for the schedule, box scores, standings and game highlights. Click here for the live stream.