Hello again Women’s Hockey Life community! It has been a while since I have written about the women’s hockey scene back in Malaysia! I started playing hockey in Malaysia when I was twelve and thankfully managed to continue playing in the States, where I graduated from the University of Wisconsin, Madison (home of the amazing Badgers women’s hockey players like Hilary Knight, Sarah Nurse and so many more!). In Madison, I met so many wonderful hockey players through various games, scrimmages and practices, learned so much about hockey and found my love for hockey again. I continue to play back here in Malaysia for the women’s national team.
Due to Covid-19 restrictions, the Malaysia women’s hockey scene has been dormant, with the IIHF Women’s Challenge Cup of Asia being cancelled two years in a row. Although there have been training sessions, local leagues and scrimmages, there has not been consistent women’s only ice time. It has been difficult to get together with Covid-19 prevention, work and study commitments taking priority over women’s hockey in the last two years. However, our women’s team finally got together for a 3-on-3 game in conjunction with Malaysia’s 65th Independence Day.
Before the game, it was so great to see each other after so long. There were also some new faces who joined us for the game, with one of the players experiencing her first game ever. Once we hit the ice, both the Black and White team were so pumped by the first faceoff. While this was set to be a friendly game, the players were taken over by so much excitement and adrenaline resulting in a beautiful, fast-paced game. A few seconds in, the Black team scored a goal off a rebound. The White team was ready to come back with an answer. The game was going back and forth with the teams evenly matched up. After regular time, the score was 4-3, with the Black team holding the lead. However, the game was not over yet.
The White team had a chance to catch up since each team was awarded a shootout opportunity based on the number of penalties committed by the other team. The Black team had two opportunities while the White team had one. With the Black starting off, both benches were watching closely and cheering enthusiastically. The shootout was taken by one of the rookie players and she scored! The White team also scored shortly after. The next Black team player also scored, sealing the win with a final score of 6-4.
With the players all sweaty and spent after the game, a post-game meal was prepared by our supportive parents and organizers. It was fantastic to see everyone catching up with one another. All of us hope that the IIHF Challenge Cup of Asia will be happening soon, so our women’s national team can play in international competition once again.