The 2019 IIHF Women’s Challenge Cup of Asia (CCOA) was held in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, and featured nine teams competing across two divisions.
Both the top division and Division I featured round robin competitions, with the top three teams in each group after round robin play winning gold, silver and bronze.
Thailand won their first ever gold medal in the event after notching three wins and one loss. They opened up the tournament with a win over the defending champions, Chinese Taipei, which was followed by a close 1-0 shootout loss to New Zealand. Thailand finished the tournament in dominant fashion, beating Singapore and Malaysia 9-1 and 9-2 respectively. Thai goaltender Wasunun Angkulpattanasuk had an outstanding tournament, recording a career best goals against average and her best save percentage since 2012.
Meanwhile, Chinese Taipei took home the silver medal, improving upon their opening loss to Thailand with three straight wins and demonstrating the scoring prowess of their young players, led by 16 year old Su-Ting Tan.
Singapore claimed the bronze medal, a welcome achievement after a tough 2018 tournament. They started the tournament in Abu Dhabi with a somewhat surprising win over 2018 silver medallists New Zealand, and finished with a 0.500 winning percentage.
After claiming gold in 2017 and silver in 2018, New Zealand’s U18 team fell to fourth place in the 2019 tournament despite having two shutouts, a 1-0 shootout win over Thailand and a 4-0 win over Malaysia.
Promoted to the top division after winning Division I in 2018, Malaysia finished in last place.
The Division I tournament also featured a first-time gold medal winner in the Philippines. The country beat Kuwait 10-0 and India 5-0 to set up an exciting final game against the United Arab Emirates, which they won 2-1. Newcomer goalie Rosalyn Lim notched all three wins, and Bianca Cuevas continued to be a main offensive threat, leading the tournament in scoring.
For the second year in a row, the United Arab Emirates received the silver medal, this time as a result of losing to the Philippines in the final game. The host nation had some rough and physical games, taking 72 penalty minutes (which includes two sets of five minute majors and game misconducts) through three games.
The bronze went to India. This is the country’s first ever IIHF medal. India claimed the bronze in their final game against Kuwait, which they won in dominate fashion with a score of 11-0.
The 2019 CCOA marked a historic first IIHF women’s tournament for Kuwait, but was a tough experience for the team, which suffered 34 goals against and no goals for. Nonetheless, it was an important first step for women’s hockey in Kuwait, which will hopefully see a boost in interest and support between now and the 2020 CCOA.
Final 2019 CCOA Standings
(2) Chinese Taipei
(4) New Zealand U18
(2) United Arab Emirates
Top Goaltender: Qina Foo (Singapore)
Top Defenceman: Sirikarn Jittresin (Thailand)
Top Forward: Su-Ting Tan (Chinese Taipei)
Most Valuable Player: Nuchanat Ponglerkdee (Thailand)
Top Goaltender: Ayah Alsarraf (Kuwait)
Top Defenceman: Tsetan Dolma (India)
Top Forward: Bianca Cuevas (Philippines)
Most Valuable Player: Dechen Dolker (India)
Top 3 Scorers
Nuchanat Ponglerkdee (Thailand): 6 goals, 5 assists, 11 points
Su-Ting Tan (Chinese Taipei): 8 goals, 1 assists, 9 points
Ping-Hsiang Ho (Chinese Taipei): 4 goals, 4 assists, 8 points
Bianca Cuevas (Philippines): 5 goals, 6 assists, 11 points
Kayla Herbolario (Philippines): 4 goals, 5 assists, 9 points
Fatima Almazrouei (UAE): 5 goals, 3 assists, 8 points
Top 3 Goaltenders
Wasunun Angkulpattanasuk (Thailand): 936.2 SV%, 0.97 GAA
Lilly Forbes (New Zealand): 875.0 SV%, 2.60 GAA
Qina Foo (Singapore): 829.3 SV%, 3.00 GAA
Rosalyn Lim (Philippines): 961.5 SV%, 0.33 GAA
Fatima Karashi (UAE): 840.0 SV%, 2.00 GAA
Noor Jahan (India): 742.9 SV%, 4.51 GAA
The 2020 IIHF Women’s Challenge Cup of Asia
The location and dates of the 2020 IIHF Women’s Challenge Cup of Asia have not yet been announced by the IIHF, but anticipate that the event will once again take place in April.
Photo by Hockey Philippines @Pilipinashockey