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.