Thailand Stuns UAE, Taipei Stay Perfect at AWG

Thailand Stuns UAE, Taipei Stay Perfect at AWG

Steven Ellis20 Feb 2017Steven Ellis»
 

The second day of ice hockey competition started with a big win for Thailand at the Asian Winter Games in Sapporo, Japan.

 
 
 
 

Thailand With First Upset

The first upset of the 2017 Asian Winter Games has seen Thailand defeat the United Arab Emirates for just the third time in history. Likit Neimwan-Andersson was the star on the ice for Thailand, with the 43-year-old defender potting two markers early on past Ahmed Al Dhaheri to get the team up early. Neimwan-Andersson is the only Thai-born player to play major pro hockey, with the country's best player skating in the ECHL, EIHL and IHL, among other leagues.

Thailand would get the lead up to 4-1 before UAE finally started to put the pressure on, cutting the lead in half. With five minutes left, however, UAE brought themselves within a goal, but an empty netter by Thailand late put an end to the game and gave their nation the 6-4 victory.

The win was just the third for Thailand over their rivals from UAE, who have had the advantage in Challenge Cup of Asia over the past few seasons. With the win, Thailand became the first team in the tournament to sit at 2-0

Chinese Taipei Barely Stay Perfect

Thanks to an added effort to build upon their current team structure, Hong Kong was able to be extremely competitive against the Division I favourites from Chinese Taipei. However, it wasn't enough to take the extra point, instead losing to Taipei 5-4 in a thrilling shootout contest. 

Taipei captain Yen-Chin Shen was the star of the show, scoring the first, third and fourth goals for his nation to complete the hat-trick. But it came after Hong Kong had a 3-0 lead, led by two goals by Jasper Ming Shin Tang and another from Justin Cheng, one of the stars on the GMHL's London Lakers in Canada.

Taipei had an eventual 4-3 lead heading into the final minute, where Hong Kong decided to pull their goalie. The plan worked out, and with 37 seconds left in the contest, Herman Lui sent a blast into the net to tie the game up. The game required a shootout, with To Weng getting his second of the night to give Taipei the 5-4 SO victory.

Taipei will play Singapore on Tuesday afternoon in an effort to keep their opponents from getting a point in the tournament. Hong Kong will have a tough battle on their hands when they meet up with Thailand later in the afternoon who remain perfect after two days of competition.

Singapore Destroyed by Mongolia

Four players scored two goals each for Mongolia in an easy 8-0 victory over Singapore on Monday. The game was completely one-sided for Mongolia, who led the shot count 41-10. Mongolia has won all four of their contests against Singapore, with an 11-0 victory at the Challenge Cup of Asia in 2016 being the biggest. 

Indonesia Gets Automatic Victory Over Iran

Indonesia's first chance at a tournament victory wouldn't materialize due to an unfortunate circumstance due to Iran's eligibility issues. Due to having too many players unable to participate in the tournament, all games involving Iran resulted in an automatic victory for the opposing squad, meaning Indonesia would score the win, but it wouldn't count towards their stats. Their first real competition will come against Malaysia on Tuesday, as Malaysia will hope to rebound from their 9-2 loss to Turkmenistan earlier in the week.

Follow me on Twitter, @StevenEllisNHL.

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