The Philippine men’s ice hockey team are back in the winning column.
The 2017 Southeast Asian Games champions pummeled Kuwait, 13-0, to score their first-ever win in the Challenge Cup of Asia, Thursday evening at the SM Mall of Asia Skating Rink.
Keeping their focus and discipline on defense, the Philippines executed their game plan to the tee. Team captain Steven Fuglister said, “We wanted to take the good things from [the] Thailand game. We just tried to get more shots and create more scoring opportunities, and it showed on the scoreboard.”
And show it did.
Point machine Paul Sanchez opened the scoring just two minutes into the contest, putting in a Fuglister delivery. The two then combined to double the lead, this time the skipper gets to hit the back of the net.
Two more goals marked the opening period for the Nationals, as BJ Imperial scored his first goal of the tournament and Sanchez registered his second of the night.
It was in the second period where the Philippines really brought down the hammer on the offense. The hosts dropped the puck into the net six times to take an insurmountable 10-0 advantage heading into the final frame.
Six different players scored the six goals in the middle canto with Fuglister, Sanchez, and Julius Santiago scoring with the Philippines playing shorthanded.
Patrick Syquiatco and Daniel Pastrana added goals from a normal 5-on-5 situation, and Jose Cadiz plucked one after a good passage of play with the man-advantage.
In the final period, Imperial doubled his output from a quick counter, before defenseman LR Lancers found an open lane and added to the scoring party.
Nonetheless, it was but fitting to see the captain Fuglister finishing the onslaught with a well-placed third goal of the night to seal the Philippines first-ever win in the tournament.
It was a team effort on offense, as all four lines did their part, getting a shot on goal. However, it was their defense that also shone, limiting Kuwait to just 18.
Fuglister was proud of the win, which was a huge bounce-back from the opening loss to Thailand. “It was a bit easier today against Kuwait. Without taking anything away from them, I think they tried their best tonight. But we had four lines rolling, so we had more depth on our team.”
The captain hopes that they could continue this team effort in their match Friday evening against Mongolia.
“If we keep it simple, good things will happen. Do not complicate things; we should stick to these simple plays,” he ended.
Mongolia clinched its second win with an 11-2 domination of Kuwait, Wednesday night, while Thailand blanked Singapore 11-0 in Thursday’s first game.