SINGAPORE – Just hours after clinching a silver medal at the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) Asia and Oceania Under-20 Ice Hockey Championship on Saturday (July 2), the captain of Singapore team Cael Chan was already thinking about next year’s competition.
A 4-3 loss to Thailand in the final saw them narrowly miss out on gold, and the men’s national team are plotting their revenge as they aim for the title next year.
The 19-year-old said: “The team played well. Before against Thailand the score was bad, maybe four to five goal difference. But from there you can really say that we improve and we catch up with Thailand, who are among the best in Southeast Asia, so next year we will do our best to get the gold medal.”
Competing at the Thailand International Ice Hockey Arena in Bangkok on Saturday, Singapore found themselves 2-0 up in the opening six minutes thanks to goals from Benedict Qian and Joshua Chan, but the hosts leveled after two strikes from Thanachai Sakchaicharoenkul at the end of the opening period.
Thanachai gave the Thais the lead in the 34th minute, but Singapore’s Lee Shaw Hsiang pulled one back to make it 3-3. A goal from Thailand’s Ramin Chan-Urai in the 55th minute then sealed the title for the home side.
Although this is the U-20 team’s first international competition, many of them have been playing together for some time and they also train with the men’s national team.
A number of players were also part of the men’s national ice hockey team that clinched a historic bronze medal at the Division IV Ice Hockey World Championship in March.
Chan, a student from Ngee Ann Polytechnic, said, “Most of us train together for the men’s team, so we have that chemistry and we always support each other and cheer each other up.”
His team-mate Joshua Chan, who finished the campaign as Singapore’s top scorer with 16 goals and was named the competition’s Most Valuable Player, noted how the team had to overcome challenges such as not taking advantage of the squad depth that other nations had.
While the other teams had 20 players and two goalkeepers, Singapore had 15 players and two goalkeepers which meant they couldn’t make as many substitutions.
The 18-year-old Anglo-Chinese School (International) student said: “There’s a lot of physical contact, which makes us prone to a lot of injuries, so in the last game we were missing a few players. keys.
“We just tackled it as a team – we have to give credit to our parents and the team staff who kept us going and encouraged us as well as taking care of our injuries.”
Head coach Joewe Lam praised his proteges for their fighting spirit, which they showed throughout the tournament.