December 26 – 28, 2013 saw the playing of the first-ever IIHF Ice Hockey Women’s Challenge Cup of Asia – Division I in Hong Kong. Singapore was one of 4 teams invited along with Hong Kong, Thailand, and UAE. The event was staged to give regional developing programs in women’s hockey a chance to collect international experience and measure their level of development in the sport.
The first game of the tournament was always going to be a tough one for the Singaporean Women as they faced a Hong Kong team that entered the tournament as the favourites. The fact that Hong Kong is the only one of the four countries whose women’s ice hockey program meets the standards to participate in the IIHF World Championship program was evident, as the Singaporean team was handed a 7-1 loss.
However, a huge team effort in an exciting last game ensured a third place tournament finish for Singapore. Our National Team was victorious over UAE 7-6 in overtime in a game where seven different players scored for Singapore. Not only was it a great team effort, but it was executed with lots of heart as Singapore came back from a 5-2 UAE lead with less than seven minutes to play in regulation time. Within the next four minutes of play Singapore tied it at 5-5 thanks to goals from Sapphire Ng Siah Hwee, Charlotte Eng Zi Qing, and Emily Kwek Wei Wei.
An exciting finish saw UAE again take a 6-5 lead, but Singapore pulled the goalie and with 34 seconds remaining Quek Yin Fong tied the game at 6-6. After just 51 seconds in the extra period Jamie Ng Yok May scored the game winner. That was an incredible finish to a great game that bodes well for the future of the Women’s National Ice Hockey Team.
At the end of the tournament the best player of each team was selected by the coaches, and Singapore’s MVP was Kimberly Leng Mei Ling. Emily Kwek Wei Wei led all Singapore scorers with 3 points in 3 games, which also tied her for 13th in the tournament.
Congratulations to the entire team! Well done, ladies. Surely, there are great things to come from this team and our National Program.
The official IIHF article for the IIHF Ice Hockey Women’s Challenge Cup of Asia – Division I can be found on their website here.
All IIHF official scores and stats from the tournament can be found here.
Our eyes now turn to the Men’s 2014 IIHF Challenge Cup of Asia – Division I in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. The tournament will be held 24 February – 2 March 2014 with participating teams India, Macau, Kyrgyzstan, and Singapore.