Category: Asia (page 1 of 17)

Hockey federations of Turkmenistan and Russia have signed another Memorandum of cooperation


The hockey federations of Turkmenistan and Russia have signed a Memorandum of Cooperation. The document was signed in Moscow by the chairman of the Turkmenistan Ice Hockey Federation Jora Hudayberdiyev and the head of the Russian Ice Hockey Federation Vladislav Tretiak.

The document includes many points, including the provision of Turkmenistan with highly qualified mentors to train leading hockey players who are part of the national team for the 2020 IIHF World Championship Division III (Group A), which will be held in April 2020 in Luxembourg. 

In 2018, the Turkmenistan Ice Hockey Federation has already signed a cooperation document with the Russian Federation, and in 2019 signed the corresponding Memorandum with the Republic of Belarus. At present, two more documents are being prepared on a bilateral exchange of experience between Turkmenistan and the Ice Hockey Federations of Latvia and Ukraine, which are very interested in issues of joint sports cooperation.

The Turkmenistan national hockey team will be led by 55-year-old famous Russian Sergei Nemchinov is completing a training camp in Minsk, Belarus in preparation for the 2020 IIHF World Championship Division III A, which will be held from April 19 to April 25, 2020 in Luxembourg.  

Thailand triumphs in SEA Games

The Thai players celebrate a goal against Singapore at the 2019 Southeast Asian Games

By Andy Potts –

Thailand produced a flawless week of hockey as it powered to gold in the Southeast Asian Games in the Philippines. The Thais won all six of their games with an aggregate score of 75-3, sweeping all before them in this five-team tournament.

After cruising through the group stage, Thailand did not allow a goal in the playoffs, hammering Malaysia 15-0 before defeating surprise package Singapore 8-0 in the gold medal game. The Philippines, defending champion in this tournament, claimed bronze with a 17-1 success against Malaysia on Sunday afternoon at Mall of Asia rink in Pasay in the Manila region. The fifth team in the competition, Indonesia, failed to advance from the group after losing all four of its games. Despite that, goalie Sangga Putra had the second best save ratio in the competition after stopping 146 shots in the four games he started.

Mission: accomplished

Last time at the SEA Games, Thailand lost out in the final against a Philippines team taking its first steps on the international stage after becoming an IIHF affiliate in 2016. This time around, revenge was in the air. 

“We worked really hard since the last SEA Games to turn that loss into a win,” said defenceman Ken Kindborn, the leading scoring in this year’s tournament. “So right now I’m very proud and very happy, but also really humble.”

In 2019, teamwork made all the difference. “We really stuck to what we have to do as a team,” Kindborn added. “Everyone knows their role and everyone bought into it 100%. We had the right chemistry in everything, from how we eat, what we do off the ice, on the ice, how we warm up, even how we spend our time off.

“Everything has been amazing for the four months that we’ve been preparing for this.”

Gold medal dominance

The gold medal game went according to the form book. Thailand was dominant from the start and opened the scoring on five minutes through Papan Thannakroekkiat. But Singapore stood up well in the face of the onslaught and even withstood a 5-on-3 power play for the Thais midway through the frame. It wasn’t until the last minute of the period that the resistance faded as goals from Kindborn and Tewin Chartsuwan opened a 3-0 lead.

After that the contest was effectively over. Thailand kept the scoreboard ticking over regularly as Singapore found it hard to generate much offence. The shot count read 55-6 after 60 minutes of often one-sided play. Fittingly, Kindborn scored the eighth and final goal, taking him to 5 (2+3) points for the game and cementing his position as the tournament’s leading scorer with 28 (10+18). Swedish-born and with three seasons of experience in division two with Ulricehamns IF, the 24-year-old is a big player on the team. His play for Thailand’s second goal in the final highlighted his contribution. Collecting the puck at the point, he shaped to shoot before spotting the opportunity to advance into a more dangerous position. With the Singapore defence unsure what to expect, Kingborn cruised into position between the hashmarks before wiring a wrister into the net.

However, this is not a team built solely on players who learned their hockey abroad. Local talents like Thannakroekkiat, 24, and 18-year-old forward Phanaruj Suwachirat also had a big impact at this tournament. The former topped the scoring from the blue line with 10 (6+4) points, the latter had 14 (8+6).

This was Thailand’s second tournament of the season. Last month the kingdom came close to progressing through the opening phase of Olympic Qualifying but lost out to Chinese Taipei in the last 70 seconds of the decisive group game in Hainan, China. And, under the guidance of Finnish head coach Juhani Ijas, also noted for his work in developing the national program in the UAE before moving to Thailand in 2016, the team will contest its second world championship campaign later in the season. After a Division III qualifying campaign last term, Thailand goes to South Africa in April for the Division IIIB tournament with Kingborn hoping for more progress.

“Our goal is to move up from that stage,” he added. “We want to advance Thai hockey now. We’re on the right path, we just need to make those next steps and that’s what we’re going for. 

“It’s going to be really tough but that’s a good challenge for us. We’ve put in all this work and now it’s going to be tested over there.”

Singapore’s Cinderella run

Despite coming up short in the final, this was a great tournament for Singapore. Before the event, most expected the host nation and Thailand to dominate the conversation about the gold medal, but Singapore had other ideas. In the group phase, it pushed the Philippines all the way, eventually losing 3-5 to two goals in the last minute of a gripping encounter. 

Then, in Saturday’s semi-final, Singapore got its revenge in similarly dramatic fashion. The host nation blew a 2-0 lead and when Christopher Wong put Singapore 3-2 up in the 49th minute, the shock was very much on. EJ Sebug thought he had saved the game for the defending champion when he made it 3-3 with 60 seconds left in regulation, but this time the last-gasp winner came at the other end. James Kodrowski scored for Singapore with 21 seconds on the clock to seal the country’s first ever victory over the Philippines and guarantee the team a medal. “Nobody was expecting us to win and we knew that we had nothing to lose,” defenceman Ang Yu Jin told the Philippine Daily Inquirer.

Singapore’s roster is a mixture of local youth and expatriate experience. Kodrowski, who potted that semi-final winner, is a 40-year-old born in the USA. He played in the NCAA at the turn of the century and, since moving to Asia, has become a key figure on the national team. He scored heavily at last season’s Challenge Cup of Asia and was his country’s leading scorer here. Head coach Robert Martini, 31, also brings NCAA experience after captaining the University of Niagara’s team in 2011/12. The Ontario native has been coaching in Singapore since 2014/15. Among the locals, veteran defenceman Chew Wee, 40, has been on the national team since 2012/13 and plays a key role in nurturing the next generation of Singaporean talent.

And there is genuine potential among the country’s youngsters. Christopher Wong is still only 17 but has played in two CCOA events and got his first international goal here in Pasay. Bryan Lee, aged 16, was the leading scorer at last season’s CCOA and contributed 3+1 this time around. And newcomer Ethan Redden, 18, was born in Singapore but has North American experience with Nicholls School in the CISAA. His debut tournament yielded 8 (6+2) points.

Host nation takes bronze

The Philippines came into the tournament as defending champion and, with home ice advantage, was expected to be a strong contender again. However, it found life tougher than expected in the group phase, struggling to beat Singapore before losing 1-10 to Thailand and taking second place in the five-team round robin. Then came that semi-final surprise from Singapore, sending the Eagles to the bronze medal game against Malaysia. The team’s leading player, Swiss-born Steven Fuglister, admitted after the game that the Filipinos needed to be more clinical with their chances, and they certainly learned that lesson ahead of the medal game. Fuglister scored four, matched by Kenneth Stern, as Sunday’s bronze medal game ended in a 17-1 victory over Malaysia.

Fuglister, 33, is eligible to play thanks to his Filipino mother. Born in Kloten, Switzerland, he and his brother Jeffrey learned their hockey with their hometown team. Jeffrey went on to play for Switzerland at the World Juniors in 2010, while Steven spent several seasons in the top Swiss amateur league with Bulach and Winterthur before taking up a job offer in the Philippines and resuming his hockey career with the Manila Griffins and later the national team. He finished the tournament with 21 (12+9) points. Carl Montano was the leading local-born player, second in the team’s scoring with 14 (3+11). The roster also featured three teenage prospects, with 19-year-old Aro Regencia already getting game time on the first line alongside Fuglister.

Plaudits for the host

bronze medal for the Philippines in the hockey tournament helped the country to top the overall medal-table in this Olympic-style multi-sport event. And success in competition was matched by a positive response to the organization of the Games.

Kindborn summed up the efforts of the host nation: “It’s been a great tournament and the hosting has been excellent. It all worked perfectly, the hotel, the transportation. The Philippines did a really good job as host.”

The Comeback Kid: How Sam Bengzon found his way back to the hockey rink

Sam Bengzon of the Philippine men’s ice hockey team


All the ice around him was not enough to stop hockey forward Samuel James Bengzon from heating up the SM Mall of Asia skating rink, in what would be one of the best moments of his 2019 Southeast Asian (SEA) Games run.

With less than six minutes left in the game and a Singapore goal tying it up at 2-2 just a minute ago, he found the barely open ice and went for the kill, hitting his first international competition goal to a wild response from the crowd.

“When I scored that goal, I went straight to where my family was,” he said, recounting how he skated to the glass barricade to share his triumph with his loved ones and fans.

From his composure at that moment, one could not tell that the 30-year-old was not even sure he would be in this arena this year. Go further back to two years ago, and he was not even a hockey player. 

A young start

Bengzon first found his spot on the ice when he was 10. At the time, he and his cousins were more interested in figure skating. This was until an old coach approached him and asked if he wanted to try something else.

“I already saw Mighty Ducks and I was a big fan of the movie,” he said of the 1992 Disney hockey film. “Then a few months after, I tried hockey, fell in love with it, and kept playing.”

His Disney fantasy soon became a reality when Bengzon started competing in hockey meets until high school, also becoming a varsity baseball player in the process. But just before college, he felt he wanted to have a normal balance of schoolwork and social life, which led him to leave behind his childhood sport.

Instead of picking up his club for training nights like most of his contemporaries, Bengzon spent a decade away from the puck, building a family of his own and getting into the poultry and CrossFit training businesses. Incidentally, being a fitness coach kept him ready to go back into the rink anytime, as it honed his discipline and maintained his athletic form.

“In Crossfit, everything is about trying to learn. It teaches you discipline and knowing yourself,” he said. “So I think it really helps with the hockey aspect; I know myself and I know what I need to work on.”

The comeback

What ultimately got him back in the fray was his being a dad. Last year, he and his wife were deciding which sport their four-year-old son should play. They settled on ice hockey. 

Bengzon eventually realized that the best way to get their child interested in the game was for him to have a role model to look up to. Wanting to play again either way and with the support of his wife and kid, he took a jersey and went back to the rink.

“Most of the time, [my son] would beg to watch us practice. He loves skating, he loves the ice,” he said. “My wife, she knows not to wake me up after a night of hockey, so she brings the kids out of the room just so I don’t wake up.”

It was never going to be easy coming back from a ten-year hiatus, but Bengzon caught up with invaluable help from his teammates, who were kind enough to spend extra sessions outside of their weekly routine training him on the ice. He regained his form just in time for this year’s IIHF Challenge Cup of Asia, helping his team lead group A of the preliminary round and finish silver against the once 45th-ranked team in the world, Mongolia.

“It’s really nice to have Sam as part of our team, because ever since I was really young, he’s actually the one I look up to in the ice. The guy’s my idol,” said defenseman LR Lancero. Bengzon, during his first hockey run, was there when Lancero took his first step on the rink at three years old. 

He added: “He’s a guy that I trust and depend on, not just him but all of my teammates, because it’s really good to have someone behind your back to support you.” 

Now in the thick of his first SEA Games stint and with two international goals in winning games, Bengzon’s focus is to keep at it as his team faces powerhouse Thailand — which has not allowed a single goal from opposing teams.

What gives them confidence, he said, is a home court advantage like nothing any of them had seen.

“Thank you for all your support so far, the Facebook messages, the reposts. After the first win, I spent an hour before going to sleep just thanking everyone,” Bengzon said. “It really helped. Every small message like, ‘good job,’ we remember it.”

‘We’re going to build something great’: Katie Weatherston named head coach of Lebanese women’s hockey team

Thunder Bay’s Katie Weatherston, seen here celebrating her gold medal win with Team Canada at the 2006 Winter Olympics, has been named head coach of the Lebanese national women’s hockey team.

By CBC News

Thunder Bay’s Katie Weatherston is on the hunt for another gold medal.

But this time, she’ll be behind the bench instead of on the ice.

Weatherston, an Olympic champion and former professional hockey player, has signed as the head coach of the Lebanese women’s hockey team.

“We’re going to build something great,” Weatherston told CBC’s Superior Morning on Monday. “I’m super excited to be a part of it, and never would I [have] thought my hockey career would have led me here.”

Weatherston — who was part of the Canadian women’s hockey team that won gold at the 2006 Winter Olympics — was contacted by the Lebanese Ice Hockey Federation (LIHF) about the coaching job, and her hiring was made official earlier this month.

The LIHF is a relatively-new organization, Weatherston said, and is currently based in Montreal.

“A lot of [the players] have dual citizenship, so they’re Canadian and Lebanese,” she said. “Obviously, here, our program is stronger. They’ve been playing hockey a lot longer.”

“But we’re hoping to change that, and … develop hockey in Lebanon and bring some excitement to the country. They’re already really excited and supporting us.”

Lebanon itself, in fact, doesn’t have a rink yet, but Weatherston said that will be coming soon.

“By the sounds of it, they’re eager to build an arena,” she said. “Then, we can start developing local players as well, and get women involved in ice hockey there.”

Further, the LIHF was formally accepted into the International Ice Hockey Federation in September, clearing the way for Lebanese teams to compete at international events and tournaments.

The women’s team, Weatherston said, launched about a year ago, and the team will hold a training camp in Toronto in December.

“Most of the girls are on board,” she said. “We’re dealing with busy kids, too, that are in university hockey, they’re playing midget AA, so we’re trying to make that team a little bit more competitive.”

“We’re also putting a call out to Lebanese-Canadians, Lebanese-Americans, hockey players worldwide, we’re looking for them,” she said. “So, recruiting is a huge part right now, because we do not have a lot of players in our player pool.”

Weatherston said the goal is for the women’s team to start competing internationally in 2021.

“Obviously, I would love to go to the World Championships, or eventually the Olympics, but we have a lot of work to do before we get to that level,” she said.

Ice hockey returns to SEA Games

Top-seeded Philippines and Thailand met at the SM Mall of Asia Ice Skating Rink already at the 2018 IIHF Ice Hockey Challenge Cup of Asia. The venue in the Philippines will host the 2019 Southeast Asian Games ice hockey tournament

By Martin

The Philippines will soon host the 30th Southeast Asia Games – a traditional multi-sports event in the region that takes place every two years.

It will be the second time after 2017 in Malaysia that ice sports will be included. Ice hockey debuted two years ago with the inauguration of the Malaysia National Ice Skating Stadium outside of the capital of Kuala Lumpur.

The newcomers from the Philippines surprised pre-tournament favourite Thailand in the deciding game to win the first SEA Games ice hockey tournament. A good omen for this year as the Philippines are the host of the SEA Games at various venues with a record number of 56 sports. Many Olympic sports, since 2017 ice sports but also less known sports such as the debut of… underwater hockey!

This year’s SEA Games are split into several clusters including ice sports in Manila’s metropolitan region. The ice hockey tournament will be held at the SM Mall of Asia Ice Skating Rink in Pasay south of Manila. The rink located in a mall has a full-size ice sheet and hosted the 2018 IIHF Ice Hockey Challenge Cup of Asia.

The tournament will include the Philippines, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia. They will play a five-team round-robin competition followed by semi-finals and medal games. The tournament dates are 1-8 December 2019.

Schedule Here

Winter Games NZ: Ice Blacks beat Australia to snare historic series win in Queenstown

The Ice Blacks on Friday made history by recording back-to-back series wins against Australia for the first time

By Stuff

The New Zealand Ice blacks have won back-to-back series against rivals Australia for the first time. 

Piggybacking on their game one success at Winter Games NZ in Queenstown, the Kiwis beat the Aussies 5-3 on Friday night to snare the Trans-Tasman Challenge Cup.

With a series sweep on the cards, times certainly have changed since the Aussies recorded a world record 58-0 shellacking of the Kiwis in Perth in 1987.

Australia struck first in game two courtesy of an early loose-puck goal swept into the net by Patrick Nadin. However, the Ice Blacks weren’t down for long, as the dynamic top line duo of Liam Stewart and Matt Schneider combined for a gorgeous goal shortly thereafter.

New Zealand goaltender Csaba Kercso Magos left a few juicy rebounds lingering in the crease, and finally Australia were able to poke another over the goal line as Jonathan Bremner batted a quick goal in after a series of attempts.

The Roos were dominant for the remainder of the period, but all that possession time was for nothing as the final goal of the period was scored by the Ice Blacks.

Debutant Ondrej Kozak drifted into the offensive zone and patiently outwitted both his defender and goalkeeper Charlie Smart to dish the puck to Ben Gavoille. The horn blew with the score knotted up 2-2.

The second frame started with an early power play for Australia, and high-scoring skater Wahebe Darge combined with Kai Miettinen for the go-ahead goal, sending the Roos up 3-2.

New Zealand leapt on the opportunity to tie things up on the power play, however, with Matt Schneider scoring his second of the game down low on the man advantage.

The Ice Blacks weren’t done with their second-period scoring yet as Kozak and Gavoille combined for their second goal of the game, a beauty of a top-shelf goal that’s certainly going to make the rounds on the highlight reels.

The third period was shorter on goals but not on action, with tempers threatening to simmer over as both teams threw some big hits.

Australia got some power-play opportunity but weren’t able to convert. In fact, the only goal of the period came courtesy of Liam Stewart, who sailed into the Roos zone past all four defenders for a beautiful solo effort goal that put the Ice Blacks up 5-3.

Liam Stewart magic helps Ice Blacks take the win in first round of Aussie series

Liam Stewart made his debut in the New Zealand Ice Blacks jersey against Australia in Queenstown, on his 25th birthday

By Stuff

A touch of Liam Stewart magic secured an Ice Blacks win in the first match of a three-game ice hockey series against Australia’s Mighty Roos, in Queenstown.

With only 90 seconds to go and the kiwis ahead by one goal deep in the Australian zone, the Roos called time and replaced their goalie with a sixth player in the hope of securing a draw.

But every minute is a long minute in ice hockey and as the battle around the goal intensified, the Ice Blacks pulled the puck far enough out for Stewart to wrangle possession and flick it to Jordan Challis to take the easy goal

The 6-4 win brought the crowd to their feet and provided a bonus for Stewart, the son of kiwi supermodel Rachel Hunter and rocker Rod Stewart, who was wearing the black jersey for the first time – and on his 25th birthday

Ice Blacks captain Nick Craig said Stewart had had a cracking debut, despite unlucky misses on several goal attempts, including a couple of occasions when the puck hit the posts.

Forward Matthew Schneider was a stand out player in the Ice Blacks scoring two goals against the Australians

“You could see he had wheels on out there.

“He was driving hard down the boards and I think he picked up a couple of points on the assist as well…he had a huge game on his debut.”

Stewart has previously represented Great Britain in the international arena and has been in prolific form for New Zealand Ice Hockey League frontrunners Queenstown Stampede, scoring a competition-best 18 goals during the regular season.

Thursday night’s game was the first in a three-match series dubbed Ice Hockey’s “Bledisloe Cup”.

It is the third year the competition has run as part of the Winter Games NZ, with the Australians and New Zealanders each having won a series previously.

Ice Blacks team manager Ross Burns said the Australians, who are one division higher than the kiwis in the world rankings, had brought a competitive team with them.

“They lost last year and they didn’t like that,” he said.

It was a unique opportunity for the New Zealanders to play some stronger competition as they aimed to climb a division at next year’s World Champs in Iceland.

“We’ve been in the same division for the last six years. It’s time.” 

Craig said Thursday night’s match was a great start.

“It felt really good. We’ve only come together last night as a team with one training but we’ve got a few veterans back in the squad and a few newbies and we just put it all together tonight.”

The defencemen worked hard under unrelenting Australian pressure and the forwards played some fantastic offence with great passing and goals, he said.

Another highlight for the team was having Sky broadcast the series live for the first time, he said.

“The more exposure we get, the more opportunity for people to see us play and in turn more sponsorship on board.

“It is a tough sport to play in New Zealand – a minority sport and we pay a lot of money for the ice fees and our gear is quite expensive.”

Burns said it cost players between $4000 and $5000 each to represent New Zealand at a World Cup.

The series continues on Friday and Saturday nights at Queenstown Ice Arena.

They will be broadcast live on Sky Sport 9 from 6.50pm.

How Surrey’s Glen Foll became a hockey legend in Australia

Glen Foll (middle) with hockey broadcasters Don Cherry (left) and Ron MacLean during the 2011 Stanley Cup Finals in Vancouver. Foll covered the Canucks-Bruins games for the Adelaide Advertiser newspaper in Australia

By Tom Zillich – Surrey Now-Leader

‘I got to play in a lot of places you wouldn’t expect to have hockey’

From hockey rinks in Surrey to Australia and well beyond, Glen Foll has seen the world playing Canada’s game.

Thailand, the Philippines, South Africa, Spain – Foll stick-handled and shot pucks at arenas in those countries, too, thanks to a decision made by the Surrey-raised defenseman in 1982.

This year, after nearly four decades of playing, coaching and refereeing in Australia, Foll became an honored member of the country’s fledgling Hockey Hall of Fame.

He’s a hockey legend Down Under, having captained the national team a record 15 times in the years from 1988 to 2006.

“I got to play in a lot of places you wouldn’t expect to have hockey,” Foll said this week on the phone from his home in Adelaide, South Australia’s coastal capital.

“I played in 16 world championships, and captained 15 of those 16 teams. I was an assistant captain the first year,” Foll explained.

“I have a lot of good memories,” he added.

Glen Foll captained Australia’s national hockey team for 15 of the 16 years he played on the squad

Today, at age 56, Foll still plays full-contact hockey with the long-established Adelaide Tigers’ premier team, alongside Ryan, his 23-year-old son.

At North Surrey Arena, which is slated for demolition next year, Foll first began skating at age five.

“My first year of hockey was the first year the rec centre opened,” said the New Westminster-born Foll, who grew up in the Whalley area, near 124th Street and 102nd Avenue.

As the 1970s faded into the early 1980s, a few years of junior hockey followed for Foll, but a pro career in North America didn’t happen for him.

That’s when a recruiter in Australia came calling, and Foll flew off to play pro for the Macquarie Bears, in Sydney.

“Originally I was going to go to Australia for a holiday,” Foll said in a 2003 interview. “I then found out through a friend that there was ice hockey in Australia. I wrote to the ice hockey federation for more information, they sent me an overseas player form which gets sent out to all the clubs.”

He played three seasons in Sydney, followed by a brief return to North America.

Australia called once again, and in the seasons since, Foll has won nine Goodall Cups in the country, six IIHF bronze medals in divisions two or three, and three silver.

“Arriving in Australia at the end of a mostly unrecognized junior career in Canadian minor hockey, Glen Foll came to best represent all that the Australian game should aspire to with an imported marquee champion,” said a recent post on the “Legends of Australian Ice” Facebook page.

Glen Foll on the ice years ago with son Ryan, who is now 23 years of age

In all, Foll played 76 games in a “Mighty Roos” jersey, scoring nearly a point a game, on average – 22 goals and 46 assists, according to a bio posted to

In a country where hockey is far from the favourite sport, Foll has helped build the game since his arrival in Australia.

“I’m still involved in coaching here, and it’s been that way almost since Day 1, in one level or another,” he said.

“Coaching and reffing are two big areas that are lacking down here. The growth of the sport here is dictated by the number of rinks. For example, here in Adelaide we have only one ice rink, and the city’s population is close to 1.3 million, so the sport is at its capacity.”

Foll said his favourite Australian hockey memory was winning a bronze medal at the C Pool world championships in 1992.

“We were not expected to do very well and we beat Hungary 8-1 and Belgium 6-2 that year,” he recalled.

“One of my jerseys is in the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto, which was also a big thing for me. When the IIHF had its 90th anniversary, each country was asked for a jersey for the new international part of the Hall of Fame, (and) our federation chose mine to go in.”

When not playing hockey with the Tigers or reffing games for Australia’s eight-team national league, Foll runs Pro Look Sports & Apparel.

“I get back to Surrey three or four times a year, for buiness, but very short trips,” Foll said.

“I’m pretty busy here now.”

North Surrey’s 1969/70 Peanut Rep Team. Glen Foll was the team captain, at right

North Surrey’s Peanut Rep Team 1968/69. Glen Foll is in the back row, third from the right, next to the A







Philippine national men’s hockey team expects tougher road to Southeast Asian Games gold

The Philippine national men’s hockey team made history by bagging the first-ever gold medal in the sport in the SEA Games in 2017

By Michael Angelo S. Murillo – Business World Online

NO LONGER under radar like in the 2017 edition of the Southeast Asian Games, the Philippine national men’s hockey team said it is expecting the road to be tougher as it tries to win back-to-back gold medals in the regional meet happening later this year in the country.

Came out of nowhere to cop the top hardware in the first-ever staging of the sport in Malaysia two years ago, the Philippine hockey team recognizes that it now has a target on its back and that the competition is preparing better against it.

“We have a target behind our back. We’re expecting the other four teams to be stronger, faster and we’re preparing for that,” said Francois Gautier, national team defenseman and executive vice-president of Hockey Philippines, in a talk with media last week at the signing of their memorandum of understanding with cybersecurity company Kaspersky as one of their sponsors for the SEA Games.

“Of course the goal is to get the gold but we know it’s going to be tougher than before. That’s why we made changes in our training. Thailand and Malaysia will be tougher, Singapore and Indonesia are making improvements. We are confident of our chances but we still need to put in the work,” he added, referring to the four other teams seeing action in the competition.

In the 2017 SEA Games, the Philippine hockey team surprised many with its performance, which has since been fondly referred to as “Miracle on Ice.”

The Philippines completed a sweep of its four-game assignment, beating Indonesia, 12-0, in the opener before following it up with 7-2 and 8-7 victories over Singapore and host Malaysia, respectively, in the round-robin phase.

It capped its performance by edging Thailand, 5-4, in a thrilling final match that earned it the gold medal.

Forward Paul Sanchez emerged as the competition’s top scorer with 14 points, with teammates Steven Fuglister (11), LR Lancero (9) and Carl Michael Montano (7) figuring in the top 10.

Goaltender Gianpietro Issepi was top in his position with a 91.67% save percentage and teammate Paolo Spafford (88.14%) at third.

Mr. Gautier said they will announce the team roster soon, which they have already short-listed to 25 players before trimming it down further.

He went on to say that they will go out on the ice representing the Philippines well and are not leaving anything to chance and are preparing hard.

“We have the players that we need. We want to show we are the best in Southeast Asia. But it’s different on paper and ice. Anything can happen. Two years ago they were giving the title to Thailand but we beat Thailand in the finals,” said Mr. Gautier, who also expressed hope that fans would come out and support them during their matches.

The 30th SEA Games happens from Nov. 30 to Dec. 11. The ice hockey event will be held at the ice rink at the Mall of Asia Arena.

‘Ice Palace’ construction starts

In August 2018 we had Article
A new home for hockey: North Van architect designs Mongolia’s first indoor rink.

Now comes word that the indoor ice rink is being built.

By News MN

Construction began started on (15 April) of Mongolia’s first ever winter sports palace. Mongolian President Kh.Battulga participated in the groundbreaking ceremony of the ‘Ice Palace’, which is located in the  VIII Khoroo of Khan-Uul District of Ulaanbaatar. At the ceremony, Steppe Arena LLC promised to complete construction of the ‘Ice Palace’ within 16 months. The 5700 square meter structure is expected to open in 2021.

The ‘Ice Palace’ will have an Olympic-size frozen arena with 2600 seats. The ice rink can be used for all ice sports, including figure skating, curling, short track speed skating. In addition to being available for year-round use, it will be an all-purpose facility, which means that the ice rink can be transformed into a ‘dry arena’ with special elastic covers which will make it possible to be used for basketball, volleyball, gymnastics, boxing, wrestling, and taekwondo competitions. It can even be used for cultural events and concerts.

« Older posts