Category: Tournaments (page 1 of 9)

Ice Blacks claim historic series win over Australia in Queenstown

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Queenstown Ice Arena was the scene of a decisive victory for the New Zealand national ice hockey team on Friday night. The Ice Blacks triumphed 6-1 over the Australian Mighty Roos, earning New Zealand both their largest-ever margin of victory over Australia as well as their first-ever series win against their Trans-Tasman rivals.

NZ set the pace of play for the entirety of the game, coming out strong in the first period with an early goal from Matt Schneider – Australia had done well defending Schneider and linemate Alex Polozov in the previous day’s game, but their line had something to say about that in game two. Polozov, who assisted on the first goal, continued his dominant play, scoring at the halfway mark of the period.

Rather than coming out swinging during the second period, Australia frequently looked flat-footed and caught off guard. They could not seem to find an answer defensively for the duo of Polozov and Schneider, who combined for a third goal five minutes in. The goal went to Polozov, but Schneider had several more excellent opportunities as the game progressed.

It was only the hard work of goaltender Alexandre Tetreault that kept the Roos in it – However as the minutes ticked by, New Zealand worked Australia over hard in the corners, seeming to have a counterpunch for every strategy the struggling Roos employed.

Veteran Ice Blacks Dale Harrop and Jordan Challis, who normally play for intense NZIHL rivals West Auckland Admirals and Botany Swarm, both scored before the buzzer sounded, signalling the end of the second. Australia remained scoreless after a would-be goal was waved off immediately due to the officials’ decision that it was kicked in by a skate.

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The Roos finally found their footing in the third period, but it was too little too late, and every time they generated momentum, the Ice Blacks pushed back.

Australia got on the board within the first minute of play courtesy of a rocket shot from Lliam Webster that beat kiwi goaltender Rick Parry up high. Webster was a presence on the ice all night for the Roos, but New Zealand never sat back or buttoned off, and his goal ended up the lone tally for Australia.

As minutes raced off the clock, the Ice Blacks put one more on the board courtesy of a well-positioned shot from Chris Eaden that popped up and over Tetreault’s shoulder much to the delight of the hometown crowd.

MVP of the match for Australia was awarded to Kieran Webster and MVP of the match for New Zealand went to, very unsurprisingly, Alex Polozov.

NZ holds early advantage in test series

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By Sean Nugent – Otago Daily Times

The New Zealand Ice Blacks have drawn first blood in the three-game test series against the Australian Mighty Roos as part of the Winter Games, with a comfortable 4-2 victory thanks to some clinical finishing and outstanding goaltending by Daniel Lee.

Queenstown Lakes Mayor Jim Boult was on hand for the ceremonial puck drop before the start of the game.

The Ice Blacks were aggressive from the beginning, but it was the Roos who opened the scoring after five minutes.

But that lead did not last long as the home side hit back as Dale Harrop turned the puck in after some quick link-up play in the final third.

The home side was on the front foot and took the lead moments later, going into the first break with all the momentum.

The physicality ramped up in the second period and the Roos went searching for an equaliser, but were continually denied by some sharp work from Ice Blacks goaltender Daniel Lee.

After looking strong in the first period, the men in black hardly threatened the Roos’ goal in the second, until Alexandr Polozov found some space down the left flank and picked out Ryan Strayer waiting in the centre to easily turn it in and double their lead.

The Roos did not roll over, and got one back through Patrick Nadin right before the end of the period, leaving it all to play for in the final 20 minutes.

It was end-to-end play at the start of the third period, and the Ice Blacks increased their advantage through Benjamin Gavoille to give themselves a two-goal cushion with just seven minutes to play.

The home side continued to push for a fifth goal up until the final buzzer without success, but it did not matter as it took a 1-nil lead in the series.

The New Zealanders will be wary not to become complacent as a similar situation occurred in the first game of last year’s series, only for the Roos to hit back in games two and three to spoil the party.

Game two will be played tonight and game three tomorrow evening.

Finland wins 4-nations tournament in Hodonin

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By Henrik Lundqvist – Eurohockey.com

Finland played three close games in Hodonin, Czech Republic and managed to win all three. In the opening game on Thursday Sweden was beaten in overtime. Minnamarie Tuominen scored the game-winning 2-1 goal. Sweden took an early lead and Finland tied it only two minutes from the end on a goal by Susanna Tapani.

In the second game finland beat the home team Czech Republic 3-2 with goals from Linda Välimäki, Elisa Holopainen and Riikka Välilä. Today Finland beat Russia 3-1. All goals were scored in the middle period. Jenni Hiirikoski scored twice and Riikka Välilä also got a goal in this game.

Sweden finished second after today’s 4-2 win over the Czechs. Czech Republic finished third and Russia 4th – both with three points.

Top scorer of the tournament was Katerina Mrazova of the home team with three goals and three assists. Team-mate Aneta Ledlova also got three goals and so did Swedish 16-year-old talent Lina Ljungblom.

Women’s Euro Hockey Tour Scores & Stats

Mongolia win IIHF Challenge Cup of Asia on goal difference

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By Dan Palmer – Inside the Games

Mongolia won the International Ice Hockey Federation Challenge Cup of Asia on goal difference as three nations ended the round-robin tournament on nine points.

The Mongolians, as well as hosts The Philippines and Thailand, all finished the event with three victories and one defeat following today’s concluding matches.

It meant the winners were decided by taking into account the three teams’ results against each other with their matches against Singapore and Kuwait discarded.

Thailand had beaten The Philippines 7-4 at the SM Mall of Asia Ice Skating Rink in Pasay, with the hosts then beating Mongolia 6-5.

Mongolia’s 5-1 win over the Thais yesterday meant all three teams beat each other and the margin of their success was crucial as they ended on the best goal difference of plus three.

Thailand ended on minus one to finish second with the hosts in third on minus three.

Mongolia had never before won the event.

Both The Phillippines and Thailand recorded massive wins today, with Mongolia not in action, but they proved irrelevant in the final reckoning.

The Thais beat Kuwait 12-1 before the Filipino outfit roared past Singapore 15-0.

Kuwait have finished bottom and will be relegated to Division One for 2019, to be replaced by Malaysia.

Al Dhaheri says Arab Clubs Championship ice hockey tournament an ‘overwhelming success’

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By Amith Passela – The National

Abu Dhabi Storms win inaugural title after beating Team Lebanon 5-3 in final at Zayed Sports City Ice Rink.

Juma Al Dhaheri, the Abu Dhabi Storms captain, believes the Arab Clubs Championship will become an annual feature on the UAE Ice Sports Federation’s calendar after his side won the inaugural title over the weekend.

Al Dhaheri, who is also the general secretary of the federation, hailed the “overwhelming success” of the championship after helping his side stage a thrilling comeback to win the final at Zayed Sports City Ice Rink 5-3.

“Leave aside the result, ice hockey fans witnessed a great match which had everything – the skills, speed and excitement – that a final game could provide,” he said after Saturday’s championship match in Abu Dhabi.

Ice hockey in the UAE remains a largely expatriate sport, Al Dhaheri said, but that competitions like the Arab Clubs Championship “will certainly encourage more indigenous people, particularly the youth, to join the sport.

“Our goal is to develop the sport in the region. We have created a pathway and the Arab Clubs Championship is one of them. There are more Arab countries now ready to join.”

Matti Fagerstrom, the Storms coach, said the championship had raised the profile of ice hockey in the region to a new level.

“It means more funding, more sponsorship’s and more importantly attracting more viewers through live TV coverage,” the Finn said.

The five-team competition played over a league format saw both the Storms and Team Lebanon reach the final game undefeated.

The Storms fielded their professionals for large parts of the match against a Montreal-based Team Lebanon, a combined side comprising of young Canadians and naturalized Lebanese players.

Nabil Kamleh, Team Lebanon’s assistant coach who plays for Dubai Mighty Camels in the Emirates Hockey League, believes the final was one of the best witnessed on these shores.

“I have been in Dubai for more than 13 years and witnessed one of the best games ever in the UAE,” he said.

“Full credit to the Storms for winning it but we witnessed a high skilled fast-paced game.

“As a Lebanese-Canadian, born and raised in Canada, it’s a remarkable tournament as it provides the opportunity to play for your country,” he added.

“I played for this team [Lebanon] in the President’s Cup in November and the standard has gone so high that I wasn’t able to play in this.”

Alexander Pajusovs netted all three goals for Team Lebanon, one in each period, yet his efforts fell short against the home side.

Andrei Bashko put the Storms ahead on 10 minutes but Pajusovs struck four minutes from time to level the scores at the end of the first period.

Pajusovs netted the solitary goal in the second period before Artur Zainutdinov leveled the score in the opening minute of the third period.

Pajusovs regained the lead for Team Lebanon in the next minute but it was short lived as Mikhael Klimin struck seconds later to level it again at 3-3.

The game turned hostile towards the end and Team Lebanon’s Majed Madi and Mathew Darwish were both sent off for misconduct.

Zainutdinov scored with just over two minutes remaining to put Storms ahead and then Masleniau Yaraslau fired a long-range shot when the visitors played without goalkeeper Alec Sader, who had an outstanding game with several excellent saves.

 

Juma Al Dhaheri excited to lead Abu Dhabi Storms in Arab Clubs Championship ice hockey tournament

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By Amith Passela – The National

Ice hockey continues to spread its wings in the Middle East and North Africa region as the inaugural Arab Clubs Championship gets under way at Abu Dhabi Ice Rink in Zayed Sports City on Tuesday.

The four-day competition, organised by the UAE Ice Sports Federation and to be played in a league format, includes five teams from Algeria, Egypt, Lebanon, Tunisia and the UAE. Abu Dhabi Storms, the Emirates Hockey League (EHL) team consisting of a majority of the national team players, play hosts.

“The visiting teams comprise mainly of expatriate players from ice hockey-playing nations and it should be a good experience for us, particularly the Emirati players,” UAE and Storms captain Juma Al Dhaheri said.

“Our team also comprise semi-professional players, but we’ll try to provide the Emirati players more opportunities. We expect the visiting teams to be very strong and expect some close games.”

Al Dhaheri said the competition provides an ideal platform to his team as they keep an eye on the EHL play-offs, which starts on April 10.

“It will certainly help the Storms team, and if successful, we can take that momentum forward to our domestic league.”

Team Lebanon who took part in the President’s Cup in Abu Dhabi in December will be in action against Alger Corsaires of Algeria in the opening match followed by the Storms versus Pharaohs of Egypt. Carthage Eagles from Tunisia is the fifth team.

Federation vice-president Hamad Al Qubaisi said the event is another step forward in its vision develop and popularise the sport in the region.

“We have had a few clubs in the region playing in one-off competitions every now and then,” Al Qubaisi said. “We hope this tournament will be an annual one in our calendar of events, and a platform to further develop the sport not only in the UAE but in the Arab countries.”

 

Gold #3 for Malaysia Men’s team wins on home ice as well

By Martin Merk – IIHF.com

Winning gold is nice. Winning it with three different national teams in a season is great. And doing so three times on home ice, that’s sweet. Malaysia ends its first season with a full-size ice rink with all it could ask for in the three IIHF Ice Hockey Challenge Cup of Asia tournaments the country participated.

The season with the new Malaysia National Ice Skating Stadion at the outskirts of Kuala Lumpur started in August with the arena’s inauguration at the Southeast Asian Games where the home team took bronze.

Since then the Malaysians have seized on their opportunity to practice and play the sport on a regular-size ice sheet for the first time. The juniors beat countries usually stronger than them in senior hockey such as the United Arab Emirates, Kyrgyzstan and the Philippines to win the 2018 IIHF Ice Hockey U20 Challenge Cup of Asia. Earlier this month the women’s team won the Challenge Cup of Asia’s Division I competition on home ice as well and now the men repeated with Division I gold.

Malaysia confirmed its top-seed position and swept through the preliminary round with wins against Indonesia (12-0), Macau (7-1) and India (10-1). It then beat Indonesia 12-4 in the semi-final where it faced Macau.

Macau, a special administrative region of China that was part of Portugal until 1999, had a bad start into the tournaments with losses against India (3-0) and Malaysia (7-1). But the players who normally compete on a small-size rink in an amusement park improved as the tournament went on. They beat Indonesia 5-2 and then avenged the opening-loss by beating India 4-2 in the semi-final game.

Macau opened a 2-0 lead when Chong Man Kong and Kim Hei Mok scored two first-period goals within a span of 43 seconds. India tied the game with third-period goals from forward Rigzin Norboo and Tsewang Dorjay but a five-minute major penalty against Rinchen Tundup with 5:52 left was the beginning of the end for India’s dreams of the final. Chon Kong Leong and Chou Tek Fong scored power-play goals to lead Macau to a 4-2 win.

The final game was a fast-solved affair. Three goals between 3:49 and 4:15 gave Malaysia a three-goal lead and the home team was never in danger of losing it, eventually skating away with a 7-2 gold medal game victory against Macau to win the 2018 IIHF Ice Hockey Challenge Cup of Asia Division I.

Indonesia took the bronze medals after beating India for third place, 4-1. Ronald Wijaya scored two goals including the opening marker in the first period and the fourth with 19 seconds left in the game.

As the tournament, also the scoring stats were dominated by Malaysia with the top-five entries. Ban Kin Loke was the scoring leader with 19 points (10+9) in five games, same as tournament MVP Chee Ming Bryan Lim (8+11). Macau’s Chong Man Kong was the best non-Malaysian scorer, sixth with six points (3+3). Rinchen Tundup, the “Indian Gretzky” wearing number 99, was sixth in goal scoring with four goals.

The season in the series of Asian tournaments will end with the top division of the 2018 IIHF Ice Hockey Challenge Cup of Asia that begins on Tuesday. It will be the first IIHF tournament ever played in the Philippines. Mongolia, Thailand, Singapore, Kuwait and the Philippines will battle it out at the SM Mall of Asia Ice Skating Rink in Manila.

Portugal Finishes 2nd place In Holland

By National Teams of Ice Hockey

Portugal captured second place at the VII Gladiators Ice Hockey tournament that took place this weekend in the Nijmegen, Netherlands.

Portugal national team finished second in the tournament with 15 points one point behind the champions Kuwait Mooseheads.

On the last day of the tournament Portugal picked up a draw against the French side Les Crocodiles (1-1) and two victors against Nijmegen Gladiators 2 (6-0) and  UK Lions 2 (9-0). The national finish with record of 4 wins 0 losses and 3 ties.

This is the 2nd trophy for Portugal, the first was in Andorra at the development cup a bronze medal.

Next up will be the Mr. Taxi Tournament in Spain.

Taipei’s U18 girls win gold

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By Martin Merk – IIHF.com

One year ago the New Zealand U18 women’s team joined the IIHF Ice Hockey Women’s Challenge Cup of Asia and won it. This year they had a new competitor with the Chinese Taipei U18 women’s national team that finished the event with gold.

The tournament also included the senior teams from Singapore and Thailand while four more teams played in the Division I competition. Both tournaments were held at the new Malaysia National Ice Skating Stadium in Kuala Lumpur.

The team from Chinese Taipei started with a 5-3 win over last year’s silver medallist Thailand before playing the New Zealanders in a game that eventually determined the gold medallist. A hat trick from Thai captain Nuchanat Ponglerkdee wasn’t enough against the strong Taiwanese offence.

Also against New Zealand the Chinese Taipei U18 team tried to dictate the game from the beginning. Two late goals in the first period paved the win against the junior Kiwis. With a penalty against New Zealand just expired, Yun-Chu Huang gave Chinese Taipei the lead with 92 seconds left and with three seconds left before the first intermission Ting-Yu Hsu made it 2-0. Two third-period goals from Hsuan Wang – the 14-year-old was the youngest player of the tournament her after one month younger linemate Ya-Ching Jan – sealed the 4-1 victory and gold.

On the last day Chinese Taipei beat Singapore 12-1 to finish the tournament with a clean record. The New Zealand U18 women’s team beat Thailand 1-0 with Beth Scott scoring the only goal and Lilly Forbes earning a shutout with 25 saves to earn silver. The Thai had their only win against Singapore, 10-1.

Wang was named Best Forward of the tournament while the other awards went to Thailand. Wasunun Angkulpattanasuk, who had the best save percentage of all starting goalies with 94.12%, was named best goaltender while Sirikarn Jittresin was the best defender. Nuchanat Ponglerkdee, who led the tournament in points (8) and goals (6), was named Most Valuable Player. She scored six of her team’s goals and was on the ice for all 13 goals.

For six of the Chinese Taipei juniors the international season will continue soon as Chinese Taipei is the promoted team in the 2018 IIHF Ice Hockey Women’s World Championship Division II Group B that will be played in Valdemoro close to the Spanish capital of Madrid.

Malaysia Women’s team wins CCOA event

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By Martiin Merk – IIHF.com

Malaysia won the 2018 IIHF Ice Hockey Women’s Challenge Cup of Asia Division I on home ice in Kuala Lumpur.

After growing pain in its first two years the Malaysian women’s national team has improved to win its first tournament in its third year of existence. Having its first full-size ice arena since this season to practise and play the sport paid off for the women’s team from the Southeast Asian country.

Two years ago in Taipei City the team started with a 1-3 record and getting its only win against India, 6-3. Last year in Bangkok, the Malaysians were even last with a 1-5 record and getting the only win from a 5-4 opening-day win in overtime against the United Arab Emirates.

This year on home ice the Malaysians went all the way to first place on home ice at the Malaysia National Ice Skating Stadium. At this brand-new facility, the Malaysia Ice Hockey Federation currently hosts both divisions of the Women’s Challenge Cup of Asia and the Division I tournament ended on Friday to the liking of the home crowd.

The Malaysians started with a 3-1 victory in a neighbouring clash with the Philippines. The Philippines managed to tie a Malaysian lead from a late Nurul Aliya Versluis first-period goal when Bianca Yasmine Cuevas scored the equalizer at 5:33 of the middle frame. But seven minutes later Fatin Muhd Fadzli Amin scored on the power play and made it 3-1 with her second goal in the third period.

Five different scorers led Malaysia to a 5-0 blanking of India in the second game to set up a final against the United Arab Emirates. The Emirati started in similar fashion. Dana Al Hosani’s hat trick and a pair of goals from Fatima Al Mazrouei led the UAE to a 6-1 win over India and despite strong pressure from the Philippines, the Emirati won their second game 5-4 with Khulood Shugaa scoring the game-winner with her second marker 2:14 before the end of regulation time.

460 fans came to the Malaysia National Ice Skating Stadium located at the Empire City mall in the Kuala Lumpur region to witness the final where Shugaa continued her scoring streak with the 1-0 marker after 78 seconds of play but five minutes later Versluis tied it up for the hosts.

At 4:15 of the middle frame Al Mazrouei increased her scoring account by regaining the lead for the United Arab Emirates that stayed until the Malaysia scored two quick goals midway the period. Captain Nur Iman Sofiah Nur Aziz tied the game at two at 12:44. After the next face-off Al Mazrouei was sent to the penalty box for an illegal bodycheck and 15 seconds later Nur Illina Mohd Rothi scored on the power play to give Malaysia its first lead in the game.

The teams exchanged more goals in the third period but Malaysia kept its lead until the end and won 5-3 for its historic tournament win as the bottom-seeded team.

The Philippines ended the tournament in third place. The Indian women, who came from the Ladakh region at the foot of the Himalayas, had a promising start with goals from Kunzes Angmo and Rinchen Dolma but then came the second period with four unanswered goals from Bianca Yasmine Cuevas. After two more third-period goals the 6-2 win and third place were final for the Philippines and Cuevas was voted MVP with her eight goals in three games.

With the Division I competition in Kuala Lumpur over, the top division of the Women’s Challenge Cup of Asia continues in the Malaysian capital and includes the women’s senior teams from Singapore and Thailand as well as the U18 women’s teams from Chinese Taipei and New Zealand.

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