Month: March 2024

Iran emerges victorious in the 2024 IIHF Women’s Asia and Oceania Cup

By National Teams of Ice Hockey

Iran’s national team emerged victorious in the 2024 IIHF Women’s Asia and Oceania Cup, securing a resounding 4-0 win against the Philippines on Saturday. The thrilling competition took place at the Gorodskoi Katok in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, showcasing the talent and determination of the participating teams.

Prior to their triumph, Team Iran showcased their dominance by securing impressive victories in their previous matches. They defeated the UAE with a staggering 16-0 scoreline, followed by a convincing 6-0 win against Kyrgyzstan and a commanding 10-0 triumph over India. These remarkable performances demonstrated Iran’s exceptional skills and teamwork throughout the tournament.

Last year, Iran achieved a commendable result by securing a silver medal in the competition. Their performance in the tournament was noteworthy and showcased their talent and dedication in the sport of ice hockey.

The International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) organized the 2024 IIHF Women’s Asia and Oceania Cup, a prestigious international ice hockey tournament exclusively for women. Held in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, from March 24 to 30, this edition of the tournament brought together teams from the region to compete for the coveted title.

Thailand Women Promoted to Division III Group A

Thailand promoted to Division IIIA

By National Teams of Ice Hockey

Thailand’s women’s team has achieved a remarkable feat by securing promotion after emerging victorious in the Division IIIB World Tournament. This achievement not only highlights the talent and dedication of the Thai players but also showcases their ability to compete at an international level. The team’s hard work and perseverance have paid off, and they can now look forward to competing in higher divisions in the future.

Throughout the entire week, Thailand displayed dominance on the ice by allowing only one goal to be scored against them. Their impressive defensive skills were evident as they outscored their opponents by a significant margin of 20-1. This remarkable performance showcased Thailand’s strength and determination in the sport.

During their tournament, they managed to secure impressive victories, such as 4-0 shutouts against Israel and Singapore. Additionally, they achieved a narrow 1-0 shutout over Estonia, showcasing their defensive prowess. The highlight of their performance was an outstanding 11-1 win over Bosnia and Herzegovina, demonstrating their dominance on the ice.

Thamida Kunthadapakorn, a 17-year-old goalkeeper from Thailand, showcased an outstanding performance while playing for the Bangkok Warriors. In her two starts, she managed to stop all 39 shots she faced, resulting in shutouts for her team. Her exceptional skills and determination were evident as she successfully defended her team’s goal.

Thailand’s Wirasinee Rattananai emerged as the leading scorer of the tournament, accumulating six assists across four games.

The Thailand women’s national team has achieved a remarkable feat by securing victory in 18 consecutive matches, a streak that dates back to 2017. This impressive winning streak showcases the team’s dedication, skill, and ability to consistently perform at a high level on the field. The players and coaching staff have worked tirelessly to achieve this level of success, and their hard work and determination have clearly paid off.

03/07/17Philippines – Thailand121
03/11/17United Arab Emirates – Thailand117
03/12/17India – Thailand120
03/14/17Malaysia – Thailand116
03/15/17Singapore – Thailand16
03/10/18Singapore – Thailand110
04/14/19Chinese Taipei – Thailand23
04/18/19Singapore – Thailand19
04/19/19Malaysia – Thailand29
04/30/23United Arab Emirates – Thailand011
05/01/23Malaysia – Thailand011
05/03/23Singapore – Thailand213
05/06/23India – Thailand013
05/07/23Iran – Thailand13
03/24/24Israel – Thailand04
03/25/24Singapore – Thailand04
03/27/24Estonia – Thailand01
03/28/24Bosnia & Herzegovina – Thailand111

Thailand has been promoted to Group IIIA, marking a significant advancement for the country. On the other hand, Bulgaria, who had previously occupied the last position in Group IIIA, will now be demoted to Group IIIB. This reshuffling of groups reflects the varying performances of the two nations in the recent competition.

A Canadian coach sharing the knowledge of hockey in Kenya

By National Teams of Ice Hockey

The geographical distance of approximately 12,000 miles between Ottawa and Nairobi, Kenya is quite significant, yet the sport of hockey has managed to create a connection between these two cities.

Ice hockey has found its way to Kenya, with adaptations made to accommodate the local environment.

Tim Colby, originally from Montreal and Ottawa, has taken on the responsibility of coaching the Kenyan Ice Lions, the top team in the country. Through his coaching role, Colby has been able to engage with and nurture the budding ice hockey talent in Kenya, showcasing the sport’s universal appeal and ability to transcend boundaries and continents.

Colby’s  coaching experience with the Kenyan Ice Lions was not part of his original plans. His involvement in coaching in Kenya was unplanned, originating from his collaboration with the Canadian International Development Agency. Initially hesitant. Colby eventually recognized the increasing enthusiasm and involvement of Kenyans in hockey, which motivated him to fully embrace the coaching role.

After learning that Colby had dedicated a decade to coaching minor hockey in Ottawa, a group of people approached him to help take the sport to the next level. Despite their enthusiasm, Colby  agree to take on the role, foreseeing various obstacles that lay ahead. Some of the challenges  included the difficulty of acquiring essential equipment and the inconvenience of having to take an eight-hour flight to a faraway pro shop just to purchase skates. Furthermore, Colby noticed a trend where individuals who traveled to Nairobi for work and played hockey would often leave their gear behind when they returned home, leaving local players with the necessary equipment to continue playing the sport effectively.

Despite this, the passion exhibited by the people of Kenya for hockey did not go unrecognized. Notably, Alibaba provided generous sponsorship for numerous Kenyan players to participate in the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyongyang, which helped to boost interest in the sport. Furthermore, Tim Horton’s, a well-known Canadian company, arranged for Kenyan players to travel to Canada. While in Canada, these players had the amazing chance to skate with esteemed hockey players like Sidney Crosby and Nathan MacKinnon.

The commitment and enthusiasm displayed by the Kenyan community towards hockey has undeniably attracted the interest of numerous individuals. Despite Colby’s initial doubts, it is clear that there is immense potential for the sport to flourish and progress in Kenya. The backing from esteemed organizations such as Alibaba and Tim Horton’s has not only opened doors for Kenyan players to engage in global competitions but has also facilitated connections with renowned hockey athletes. With this remarkable momentum, it is evident that the future of hockey in Kenya is filled with immense promise.

Kenya currently has just one ice rink situated in a Nairobi hotel, notably smaller than the typical hockey rinks around the world. Kenyans have embraced a high-speed 3-on-3 hockey variant devoid of icing or offsides. Colby envisions this distinctive gameplay style gaining broader recognition worldwide.

Kenya has expressed interest in joining the International Ice Hockey Federation, following in the footsteps of South Africa and other African nations that have recently join. With plans to host an all African 3-on 3
ice hockey tournament in 2025.

Kenya aims to further develop the sport in the region. Despite the challenges posed by limited resources and facilities, the passion for ice hockey in Kenya continues to grow, attracting both players and spectators alike.

Ukraine Win Gold In Zagreb

Ukraine Women’s National Team capture gold in Zagreb.

By National Teams of Ice Hockey

The Ukrainian national team clashed with Croatia in an exhilarating match, falling behind with the first goal but swiftly equalizing early in the second half. Despite being a player short for a considerable duration, the Ukrainian women dominated the game until the final whistle, clinching a well-earned triumph. This victory marked their fifth consecutive win in the tournament, securing them a place in next year’s world championship Division II B.

The team’s last appearance in Division II B was in 2020, heightening the significance of this accomplishment. It was a momentous day for Valeria Manczak-Jensen, the team’s captain and top scorer in the Division III A championship, as she commemorates her birthday alongside the victory on the ice.

Thailand Makes History In Bishkek

By National Teams of Ice Hockey

The history of ice hockey in Thailand is marked by the achievement of the men’s team winning the World Championship Division III Group A. This victory granted them the opportunity to advance to Division III Group B for the first time, signifying their progress to a higher level. The young Thai team’s remarkable achievement further highlights their potential and determination.

In 2019, the Thai national team became a part of Division 3, Group B. However, they had to pause their participation in competitions for a period of 2 years due to the global outbreak of “COVID-19”. Finally, in 2022, they made a comeback and for the first time, the young Thai ice hockey team was promoted to compete in Division 3, Group A.

The outcome of the competition unfolded exactly as anticipated due to the Thai team’s disciplined style of play. Their aggressive offensive strategy, particularly from the defensive players, resulted in numerous goals. However, what truly stood out was their exceptional teamwork. They did not rely on any individual player but instead supported each other and executed tactics flawlessly. The team members’ abilities were on par with one another, leading to their triumph in Division 3, Group A. Remarkably, they achieved this feat without even completing all their matches, securing five consecutive victories (defeating Kyrgyzstan 9-4, Mexico 5-0, South Africa 5-1, Turkmenistan 13-3, and Luxembourg 6-1). This outstanding performance earned them a perfect 15 points, with 38 goals scored and only 9 goals conceded.

The Thai young team, which emerged victorious in Division 1 at the 2017 Asian Winter Games in Sapporo, has made significant strides over the past 7 years. This progress culminated in their recent triumph at the Division 3 World Championship, showcasing the growth and development of the team since their initial success in the Asian-level competition.

Comprised of a core group of athletes who were part of the Asian Games team 7 years ago, including Ken, Edwin Kindborn, Papan Thanakroekkiat, Tewin Chartsuwan, Jon Mikkhail Isaksson, Masato Kitayama, Rakchai Sukwiboon, and Phattharaphon Angulphatthanasuk, the team’s cohesion and experience played a pivotal role in their latest achievement on the world stage.

This victory marks the team’s second taste of success, further solidifying their reputation as a formidable force in international winter sports. It is worth noting that this accomplishment excludes the SEA Games, as it is considered a smaller tournament compared to the prestigious Asian Games and World Championships.

This year’s exceptional athletes include Ken Edwin Kindborn, the half-Thai-Swedish half-back captain known as Thailand’s top defender. He has consistently performed well since his debut with the national team in 2017, reaching his peak this year. Kindborn plays with freedom and complements the offensive strategy effectively, showcasing flawless defensive skills.

Another standout player is Papan Thanakrikkiat, who has impressed with his performance this year after being assigned to line 1. Playing alongside Ken Edwin Kindborn, the two have formed a strong defensive partnership, supporting each other on the field. Papan’s defensive prowess allows Ken to shine in the offensive plays, creating a dynamic duo on the team.

The attacking game displayed exceptional performance, with several players such as Jon Mikhail Isaksson, Nicholas Charles Lampson, and Masato Kitayama relentlessly pounding the opponent’s net while under the influence. This year, the striker trio consisting of Fun, Phandaj Khuhakaew, who is currently in excellent form and capable of scoring in nearly every match, is highly regarded. Unfortunately, Khuhakaew sustained an injury during the fourth game. On the other hand, players like Patrick Forstner, Phanuraj Suwachirat, Chanokchon Limpinphet, and Pan Hongsawat were deemed to have maintained satisfactory form. Overall, the team is perceived to be in a very good state.

Furthermore, the Thai team was honored with two prestigious accolades in the form of the best player awards. Ken Edwin Kindborn was recognized as the best defender, showcasing his exceptional skills and prowess on the ice. Similarly, Benjamin David Kleineschay was acknowledged as the best goalkeeper, highlighting his remarkable abilities in guarding the net. These commendations serve as a testament to the Thai team’s dedication and talent in the Ice Hockey World Championship, Division ll Group B. Despite the challenges posed by competing against teams with higher world rankings, the Thai team’s performance in the upcoming year in Division ll Group B will undoubtedly be eagerly anticipated. In the meantime, let us revel in their triumph by wholeheartedly celebrating their victory in Division lll.

Doug Armstrong has been appointed as the General Manager for the 2026 Olympic Winter Games.

By National Teams of Ice Hockey

Hockey Canada recently announced that Doug Armstrong will lead as the manager, for Canadas Men’s Olympic Team at the 2026 Olympic Winter Games in Milan and Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy. He will also head the management group overseeing Team Canada for events in the next two seasons.

In preparation for the 2026 Olympics Armstrong will work closely with a committee that includes Ryan Getzlaf as the player relations advisor. The committee also features Scott Salmond, Katherine Henderson and Pat McLaughlin in roles.

Armstrongs duties include managing Team Canada at the 2024 IIHF World Championship, 2025 NHL 4 Nations Face Off and 2025 IIHF World Championship. He will collaborate with executives to build and lead Canadas Men’s Olympic Team for the games. Getzlaf will support Armstrong and Salmond by connecting athletes with management groups to ensure an approach, across all teams and events.
McLaughlin showed trust in the choice of Armstrong and Getzlaf emphasizing their history in the NHL and global tournaments. Additionally he commended Scott Salmond for his impact, on Canadas teams at different levels over a span of more, than twenty years.

Bosnia Wins Division III Group B on Home Ice

By National Teams of Ice Hockey

Bosnia and Herzegovina emerged victorious to claim the gold medal at the 2024 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship Division III Group B in Sarajevo.

The hosts showcased their resilience in a nail-biting gold medal match against North Korea. Despite falling behind twice, they fought back and clinched a memorable 4-2 victory. The Skenderija Sports Arena reverberated with the cheers of 1,700 ecstatic spectators, making it a truly special moment.

The triumph signifies a significant achievement in the chronicles of ice hockey in Bosnia & Herzegovina. For the first time, their men’s team has secured the coveted gold medals in the World Championship play. As a result, the Bosnians will progress to compete in the IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship Division III Group A in 2025.

During the earlier stages of the tournament, Bosnia & Herzegovina showcased their strength by blanking Iran with a convincing 3-0 victory. However, they faced a tough challenge in the subsequent match against Hong Kong, losing 3-4 in overtime. Despite this setback, the team quickly bounced back and displayed their dominance by defeating the Philippines 6-3. Their remarkable performance continued as Nikko Gakovic’s hat-trick propelled them to a remarkable 9-2 triumph over Singapore.

In the highly anticipated promotion match against North Korea on Thursday night, Chun Rim Hong, the tournament’s top forward, wasted no time in making an impact. Within just 1 minute and 56 seconds, Hong unleashed a powerful shot from the top of the left dot, leaving Dino Pasovic helpless as the ball found the back of the net.

Prior to their encounter at IIHF World Championship play, the two teams had faced each other only once. It was in April 2015 when North Korea completely dominated Bosnia & Herzegovina, leaving them without a single goal in a remarkable 13-0 triumph.

During the game, Bosnia’s goalkeeper Pasovic was in action in the first two periods. Fast forward nine years, he made a key save against Ji Ung Ryu, who received a pass from Chung Hyok Kim. The Bosnian defense then valiantly defended their net. Following this, the hosts scored a goal as Din Alen Filipovic outplayed Chung Nam Choe and assisted Gakovic to tie the game.

Following their relegation from the 2019 IIHF World Championship Division IIB in Mexico City, North Korea reentered World Championship play. Five years later, 11 players from the original roster were still representing the team

The team captain, Hong, is a significant player on the team. With 20 points (11+9) in five games, he is the top scorer of the tournament. His second goal of the night, scored on the powerplay in the first period, helped North Korea regain the lead.

Prior to this, Canadian head coach Ross MacLean had already led Bosnia´s U20 team to victory in Division IIIB at the current venue. Eight players from that team were chosen for the men´s team, and two of them were involved in setting up Bosnia´s 2-2 goal when Kwang Song Ryu received a roughing penalty. Vasilije Vucinic, a 16-year-old defenseman, passed to Belmin Sinanbegovic, who then assisted Dino Cordalija in scoring the equalizing goal against North Korea.

With the hosts now in control, the home crowd once again erupted in excitement just 40 seconds later as Bosnia surged ahead. Netminder Pasovic displayed his alertness by denying North Korea’s attempts twice, while Adnan Mlivic skillfully maneuvered the puck during a three-on-one rush. Although Denny Miskic’s initial shot was saved by Jo in North Korea’s net, debutant Andreas Andrijasevic capitalized on the rebound and scored.

In the 3rd period, the Bosnian rearguard displayed heroic defending while Pasovic’s inspiring net minding prevented North Korea from scoring. , Midway into the period Miskic’s energetic strike sealed Bosnia’s lead at 4-2, causing the Skenderija Sports Arena to erupt in jubilant celebrations.

In a monumental display, the 38-year-old goalie retired on a positive note following his most unforgettable game in a Bosnia uniform, where he stopping 45 North Korean shots.

Pasovic stood out as the top goaltender in the 2024 gold medal-winning team, achieving a remarkable 2.21 GAA and an outstanding 93.53 save percentage. He was recognized as the best goalie of the tournament for the second consecutive year during a Division IIIB competition hosted in Sarajevo.

Hong Kong secures the Bronze Medal, while Iran relinquishes its spot in the division

Hong Kong clinched their second consecutive bronze at this level, pondering what could have been. Despite a setback in their first game against DPR Korea, they showed resilience by winning in overtime against Bosnia. Chung Pan Justin Cheng stood out as the team’s top scorer with 17 points in five games. An outstanding performances and one of the best scores in international play for Hong Kong.

Singapore emerged victorious in the divisional struggle, defeating Iran 8-5 on the last day and securing a commendable fifth-place finish. Unfortunately, Iran, unable to secure a win, has been relegated to Division IV for the 2025 season.

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