Ice hockey fans from all over the world will travel to Hong Kong for the Mega Ice Hockey 5’s, the biggest ice hockey tournament in Asia. This year marks the event’s 10th anniversary.
With more than 1,200 players representing 90 teams from 14 countries battling it out for honours, the 5’s is certainly living up to expectations.
Hong Kong’s brightest ice hockey talents will appear at the competition, including Hong Kong women’s ice hockey star Sumi Chau.
Chau, 20, who recently competed in the 2017 Asian Winter Games in Japan, wants to set an example for aspiring ice hockey players in the city. She gave Young Post four of her top tips: “Prepare to be in good physical condition; grab every chance to practise; watch more hockey footage; and don’t be afraid to ask questions.”
Chau will be joined by Hong Kong U18 men’s ice hockey duo Dennis Lo and Jonathan Yiu. The U18s recently won their first-ever silver medal at this year’s Junior World Championship.
Team captain Dennis won’t be competing at the 5’s this year, but he’ll be keeping a watchful eye over any potential hockey stars. “Hong Kong has the potential to produce players that can play at a higher skill level as hockey is becoming more popular among young people,” said the 17-year-old.
But reaching the elite level is not easy here in Hong Kong. “Due to a lack of ice rinks and ice hockey facilities, it remains very difficult for players to play at a high level unless they travel abroad to Canada or the US,” explains Dennis. That’s why he stresses the importance of the 5’s. “This tournament is definitely important for the development of Hong Kong hockey as the large number of spectators attracts more young people to play the game,” he says.
The opening puck drop ceremony was held on Monday. The youth tournament (five to 16 years) started on Monday and will run until this Saturday, where the Bantam A and Bantam B Youth Division Finals will be streamed online.
The 12-day competition is being held at Mega Ice, in Megabox, Kowloon Bay. It ends on May 6. Local teams hope to dethrone Singapore’s Pandoo Nation, who have dominated with three straight Hong Kong titles. The International A champions will be looking for a fourth title in the adult division. Australia, China, Russia, and the United Arab Emirates are among the other countries sending teams to the Hong Kong tournament.
Hong Kong’s top teams include Gold Club, HK Hitmen, and Hong Kong Tigers. With the home crowd providing vocal support, the local hockey warriors are sure to give their best shot and possibly cause an upset or two.