Chinese Taipei-United Arab Emirates (April 4)
Chinese Taipei 3 - United Arab Emirates 2
In front of full house of over 1,000 enthusiastic ice hockey fans and live TV audience it was the home team Chinese Taipei and reigning champion United Arab Emirates, on its way to the World Championship Division III, to decide the winner of the 2010 IIHF Challenge Cup of Asia. The arena was packed with excitement as the crowd went wild every time Chinese Taipei got past the red line. The players seemed to feel the same excitement as they kept the puck bouncing especially when getting closer to the opponents net, and they kept the game tight for the most of the first period. The old truth about the importance of power plays in big games came true when Chinese Taipei made use of a man advantage with less than two minutes remaining in the first period to gain the lead. In the second period with five-on-five players, the home team seemed to be slightly more active and kept the Emirati away from their net. In the middle of the game, effort paid off when Chinese Taipei had a two-man advantage with the opponents' two stick checking penalties. At 32:25, again on power play, the home team got its second goal past the directorate's best goalkeeper choice, Khaled Al Suvaidi, to take a 2-0 lead going to second intermission. Only after a minute of play in the third period, Chinese Taipei got an opportunity to increase the goal difference to three with a breakaway while playing shorthanded, but it was denied by a great save from Al Suvaidi. Five minutes later, now on power play, Chinese Taipei used its chance and made it 3-0 with 12 minutes remaining in the game. Despite the difficult set-up, the Emirates were not about to leave the Cup in Taipei City that easily and got back to the game and shortened the deficit to 3-1. Anxiety in the arena hit the roof when the United Arab Emirates got their second goal with three minutes remaining and a two-minute power play for the Emirates. Despite the man advantage and pulling the goalie in the end, the Emirates were not able to get shots on goal and Chinese Taipei claimed the title and while the United Arab Emirates finish the tournament in second place.
Photos: Fion Hsu