By Steven Ellis – Eurohockey.com
South Africa will return to the Division III World Juniors in 2019 after beating Chinese Taipei in a best of three series 2-0.
Both games were drastically different, yet both featured one-goal games. Sky Johnson was the lone goal-scorer for South Africa in the opening game, beating Sheng-Chun Huang just before the halfway point on the power play to give his nation the opening victory.
The game was more wide-open in the second contest, with Taipei actually taking the 3-2 lead after a period of action. Kuan-Yu Lin was the star for Taipei, scoring twice in the opening frame. Weig Chiang would also score a pair for the team, with the duo potting the only four goals Chinese Taipei would score after two games.
Gareth Bremner was apart of a controversial moment when he was given a 10-minute misconduct for a check-from-behind. Three minutes after his penalty expired, Bremner put South Africa back into the lead, a lead they would never relinquish in an eventual 5-4 victory on home ice.
With the win, South Africa will replace New Zealand in the Division III World Juniors in 2019, with the Kiwis going down to face Taipei in Division IIIQ. Days before the tournament began, Turkmenistan pulled out in what is believed to be a lack of players, so the final pool for the group is unconfirmed heading into next year’s event.