Playoffs set

Chinese Taipei, India, Kuwait, Malaysia, Thailand, UAE advance

23.03.2012
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The United Arab Emirates are the favourites heading into the playoff round. Photo: IHAI

Thailand – Kuwait 8 – 2 (2-1, 4-0, 2-1) 

With the 8:2 win over Kuwait, Thailand has secured a spot in the semi-finals. The forwad duo of Teerasak Rattanachot and Tewin Chartsuwan combined for eight points as the Thais secured finished in second place behind UAE.

The first period was close, finishing with a 2-1 edge to Thailand. Thailand broke out in the second period with four goals, beginning with a marker on the power play from Chartsuwan, who along with Rattanachot finished with two goals in the game. By the end of the third period, Thailand held the 8-2 advantage, thanks in large part to a 43-26 shots on goal advantage.

Kuwait will meet India in the quarter-final, with the winner advancing to face Thailand in the semi-final.

UAE – Chinese Taipei  14 – 0 (2-0, 6-0, 6-0)

With the final ranking in the group set and having already claimed the top ranking going into the playoffs, the UAE finished the preliminary round with a 14-0 drubbing of Chinese Taipei.

Playing against a Chinese Taipei team competing with a shortened bench, the UAE gave more play time for their third and fourth line. The game started off with UAE dominating early against Taipei, which played with only twelve players. Six goals in the second period put the game out of reach for Taipei.

“We played together and built on-ice cohesion in order to be even better prepared for the games ahead,” said the UAE’s Juma Al Dhaheri, who finished with three goals and five points and was chosen as Best Player.

The UAE will face Malaysia in the first semi-final game on Saturday.

Malaysia – Macau 5 – 2 (2-1, 2-0, 1-1) 

Despite a spirited effort, Macau fell to Malaysia 5-2, losing out on a chance to advance to the playoff round.

Needing just a point to finish ahead of India and gain a berth in the playoffs, the Macanese came out of the locker room with determination, facing a Malaysia team that finished atop the group. A strong defensive effort kept the score close through the first period, but the Malaysians scored a pair of unanswered goals in the second frame to give themselves some insurance.

Malaysia, which finished second in Group B, will take on the also undefeated UAE team, winners of Group A in Saturday’s first semi-final game.

TIMO PEKKA FRONDELIUS

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