The series of tournament started in 2008 for the smaller hockey programs of the IIHF’s hockey family in Asia to provide these members a chance to play in IIHF-sanctioned tournaments even if they do not fulfil the criteria to play in the World Championship program.
It has become a tradition that has grown over the years with new countries joining the IIHF and the program in various event categories and levels.
On Saturday the 2022 IIHF Ice Hockey U20 Asia and Oceania Championship started in the Thai capital of Bangkok where eight men’s U20 national teams will make the start.
Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand and the United Arab Emirates play in Group A and Indonesia, India, Singapore and Hong Kong, China in Group B.
In a format similar to the recent 2022 IIHF Ice Hockey U18 Women’s World Championship, the teams are seeded in two tiered groups. The top-two teams of Group A advance directly to the semi-finals. The bottom-two teams of Group A and the top-two teams of Group B will play the quarter-finals to advance to the semis against the top-two-seeded teams.
The tournament continues until 2 July when the medal games will be played.
Day 1 saw host Thailand take the lead in Group A after a 14-4 victory against Malaysia following the opening ceremony. The United Arab Emirates won the other game in the group 8-7 in overtime.
Hong Kong, China took the lead in Group B with a 14-2 win against India while Singapore beat Indonesia 5-1.
Thailand has two four-goal scorer on Day 1 with Poon Harnchaipibulgul and Nattasate Phatigulsate but two players even scored even more often: 16-year-old Nolan Murphy, who plays senior hockey in the United Arab Emirates for expats team Dubai Mighty Camels, is the tournament’s first scoring leader with five goals and one assist while Singapore’s Joshua Chan also started with five markers.
All games of the tournament can be watched live on IIHF.com with the watch link becoming available shortly before and during the tournament in the game centre of the tournament page.