Sun, Mar 26, 2017 - Page 1 News List

Brawl follows China ice hockey game

RINK RUCKUS:Some of the China team skated to mid-ice then unfurled a Chinese national flag and gesticulated toward the crowd until ushered away

By Grant Dexter  /  Staff reporter

Taiwan and China players trade blows after the final whistle of their Under-18 World Championship encounter at the the Taipei Annex Arena on Friday.

Photo courtesy of Chantal Liao

Taiwan notched their third win at the Under-18 World Championship in Taipei yesterday — defeating Bulgaria 4-2 — a day after their encounter against China turned nasty seconds after the game finished 4-0 in favor of the visitors.

China lead Division III, undefeated through four games after their 12-0 dismantling of New Zealand yesterday, but they won no friends after China forward Wang Ziqiao (王梓喬) appeared to deliberately skate into a Taiwan player after the final siren in their game on Friday.

A melee resulted, with sticks scattered over the ice as players traded blows and bottles, and even a chair, were thrown into the rink.

Video footage showed China defenseman Cui Yunjie throwing the chair back over the glass into an area where spectators can walk.

As the referees struggled to regian control, some of the China team skated to mid-ice, where they unfurled a Chinese national flag and gesticulated toward the crowd until being ushered to the bench.

Reports said that the China players were furious with spectators for shouting at them to “go back to China.”

Taiwanese linesman Chantal Liao, who was not officiating, but was a photographer at the game, described the situation as a “vicious circle.”

China were angry about the spectators yelling, so they hit our [Taiwan] player, causing the spectators to yell more,” she said.

Wang and fellow China forward Wang Jing (王京) were penalized and suspended for one game for their roles in the fracas.

The game itself was a fractious affair, with 18 penalties shared between the two sides before the two after the siren.

China were on the receiving end, penalized 12 times in regulation time, including all six that were handed out in the second period, for throwing a stick or any object, delaying the game, boarding, misconduct and too many men on the ice.

Taiwan are second-equal among the six teams, adding wins over Turkey, 8-1 on Tuesday, and New Zealand, 3-2 on Wednesday, to yesterday’s result. Israel also have three wins after beating Turkey 6-2 yesterday, while Bulgaria have one and New Zealand none.

The final round of games is on tomorrow at the Taipei Annex Arena, with China to play Turkey in the first game, Bulgaria taking on New Zealand and Taiwan to play Israel in the last game, which is to begin at 8pm.

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