In a tournament that was New Zealand’s to lose, the kiwis easily won all four games they participated in to win the Division III Group B Under-18’s in South Africa.
New Zealand really wanted to return to the top Division III tournament in 2017 after spending the last two tournaments in the lowest under-18 level possible. This year, the team easily dominated all four games they played in, even beating the hosts from South Africa twice (including a 7-2 win on Friday to end the tournament).
New Zealand dominated the offensive charts in the tournament all week long, with almost the entire top ten coming from the team. Ben Harford, Shaun Brown and Alex Egan were contenders to be the top scoring player all tournament long, with Harford eventually winning that honour with 11 points. Hing Yui Tsang did an impressive job for Hong Kong, finishing as the top player not from the ice blacks with eight points in four games for the last place squad.
With the win, New Zealand will replace the last place team from the Division IIIA tournament, set to take place in the middle of March. Fortunately for Hong Kong, who finished last in the three team Group B tournament, the country won’t have to worry about relegation, and after tying Hong Kong for second (losing out on a tiebreaker), there is hope for the program to continue improving.
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