The Philippine Men’s National Ice Hockey Team suffered their first defeat of the 30th Southeast Asian Games in a very physical battle against challengers Thailand, 1-10, Friday at the SM Skating Mall of Asia.
The 2017 Games medalists threatened to continue their offensive juggernaut all tournament long with three straight goals to put up a 3-0 lead. Papan Thanakroekkiat first opened the scoring for the Thais at the 4:15 mark. Limpinphet and Suwachirat then added two more just six minutes into the match.
“We started the very strong, but we took too many penalties and that threw us off our game plan,” team captain Steven Fuglister admitted. Fuglister himself took a total of 14 penalty-in-minutes, punctuated by a 10-minute unsportsmanlike conduct sanction.
“We were in the penalty kill a lot and Thailand took charge. They are a very good team and they capitalized on the power play.”
Carlo Tenedero cut the deficit to two, 1-3, to the delight of the Filipino crowd in attendance. Just a little over six minutes in the second period, he received in a pass from assistant captain Carl Montano.
The Thais lived for the physicality of the match, though. Forstner broke loose and scored two of the three goals for his squad, putting the match away at 6-1 late into the second.
Four more goals came the way of the visitors in the final period despite many opportunities presented to the defending champs on the power play. The Thais emerged successful on nine penalty kills, blanking the Filipinos in the said frame.
Singapore earlier quashed Malaysia, 14-3, to end the opening round at 2-2 win-loss record. The Malaysians enter the semifinals nonetheless, but with a 1-3 record. They will be facing Thailand in the last four match.
The loss sends the Philippines into the semifinals in second place. The Filipinos will go up against third-seed Singapore on Saturday at 3 p.m.