In the least-shocking news of the day, the United Arab Emirates and hosts Chinese Taipei will play in the finals for the Challenge Cup of Asia after big wins on Wednesday.
UAE were fortunate enough to be taking on the lowest ranked team heading into the event, Macau. Macau, who lost 30-0 to Taipei earlier in the tournament, would only record eight shots against UAE on Tuesday, a game that resulted in a disappointing 7-0 loss. UAE, on the other hand, took 22 shots in all three periods, scoring 3, 3 and 2 goals respectively. Mohammed Al Dhaheri led the team offensively, chipping in two goals while captain Juma Al Dhaheri also recorded two points himself. The team, which is looking for their third tournament championship, and first since 2012, will be looking for a solid finish ahead of their World Championship appearance next month, making them the only team in the CCoA to participate in the World’s this year.
For Taipei, the home team came in with a lot of excitement. After winning the previous two championships, the team came in expecting to dominate. That’s exactly what they’ve done since game one against Macau, and a 8-2 victory over Mongolia today helped prove that case. Taipei’s game didn’t start off one-sided today, as Mongolia managed to score a goal to make it 2-1 at the end of the first period. The third period really was when the game fell apart, as the two teams combined for 90 penalty minutes in the third alone. Taipei absolutely controlled the action in the second, and while Mongolia did score on their nine second power-play, Taipei really made Mongolia pay by exploiting their weaknesses late in the contest. The game resulted in an 8-2 victory for Taipei, who are hoping to win their third straight tournament championship, their fifth all-time.
The deciding game, which isn’t classified as a championship game due to tournament format, is set to go 7am EST.
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