PH becomes first-ever SEA Games ice hockey champ


MANILA — When asked by PNA prior to his team’s departure for Kuala Lumpur for the 29th Southeast Asian Games, Philippine Ice Hockey Team captain Francois Gautier said Thailand will be the squad’s biggest wall it needed to hurdle to get the gold.

On Thursday night, Team Pilipinas broke through that wall. The Philippines weathered a late Thai run to become the first-ever gold medal winner of the SEA Games ice hockey competition via a 5-4 win in the finals.

The Philippines started the match red hot, scoring four unanswered goals in the first period and the early goings of the second.

Thailand, however, got three goals back to cut the lead down to one, 4-3, entering the final 20 minutes of the game. Nico Cadiz scored a crucial goal with 8:01 left in the game to give the Philippines a 5-3 cushion.

That turned out to be the insurance goal as Thailand failed to follow up on its fourth goal of the night with 3:29 to go as goaltender GP Iseppi held fort down the stretch.

Philippines completed a sweep for the gold, while Thailand, which suffered its only loss, settled for the silver. PNA(PSC/PHOTO)