Taiwan Hockey Team wins Gold in the U18 World Cup
On January 29 the Taiwanese Women's Youth Ice Hockey Team made history by winning the U18 World Cup Ice Hockey Tournament held in Eindhoven, the Netherlands, for the first time ever. Earlier in the tournament, the Taiwanese team already defeated the home team, the Netherlands, and Kazakhstan to make their way to the finals. On the 29th, they faced a tough battle against Australia. They’d already beaten Australia twice before: during the U18 World Cup last year, and later during a friendly match, but they knew that their opponent was going to attack the weak point of Taiwan’s team, their defense.
They withstood the pressure of being one point behind at the end of the first quarter, and scored two goals, reversing the situation. When Wang Hsuan’s goal in the second quarter was disqualified, the team’s spirit was affected, leading to chaotic play. But Wang Hsuan didn’t let the disappointment get to her. She ended up scoring the winning goal and Taiwan’s team finally defeated Australia 4 to 3, and won the gold medal after their third consecutive victory in this tournament.
This means that the Taiwanese Women's Youth Ice Hockey Team will be promoted to level one in next year’s world rankings. The team was established in 2014 and it has only competed in the U18 for two years. Last year, the U18 team won three times and lost twice, playing at second level, rank A. This year they won all three games by one goal. When they scored against Kazakhstan in the sudden death match, it was a miracle, but they still managed to move to the next level.
Hsie Chun-Huang, chairman of the Republic of China Ice Hockey Association, said that this U18 World Cup team has proven to be the strongest ever. Their first game was with the home team, the Netherlands, and they still managed to win, despite a few dangerous moments. That was no easy task.
He pointed out that many of the players are from the south of Taiwan, and Taiwan only has a limited number of practice venues, so they had to go all the way to Taipei to practice in the Taipei Dome. "Many players want to train hard but they always have to take the train north, so they lack experience in the game. But they still do their best. This is very typical of Taiwan. I hope that the government will provide strong support for building more ice rinks and make Taiwan famous internationally."