The Chinese Taipei Ice Hockey League’s (CIHL) 2008-2009 season is wrapping up with a playoff schedule that promises to generate some great games. The CIHL Championship begins on Saturday at 9:15pm, when the second-place Hsinchu Raptors take on the Sababa Bears (seventh) in the first of three quarter-finals to be played this weekend.
The Taipei Wolves face the Tainan Dragons at 10:45pm on Saturday, and the Taichung Lions take on the Taipei Tigers at 7:45pm on Sunday.
The three winning teams from these games will move on to the semi-finals two weeks later, where one squad will meet up with the favored Taipei Rhinos. The Rhinos finished first in the regular season with a dominating 15-3 win-loss record.
This year’s semi-finals will use a best-of-three format for the first time, and each team will have to pull off two victories to advance to the Championship series.
The semi-finals will take place over three nights from April 24 through April 26 and are sure to be intense affairs as teams fight it out for a place in the finals, which will also use a best-of-three format.
The semis on April 24 and 25 are scheduled to start at 9:15pm and 10:45pm, while the games on April 26 start at 7:45pm and 9:15pm.
An appearance in the Championship final will be the culmination of more than eight months’ work for the finalists. Last year’s final was decided only in the last minute of the third game.
Game 1 of the finals is at 9:15pm on May 1, Game 2 starts at 9:15pm on May 2, while Game 3, if necessary, will be at 19:45 on May 3.
The CIHL teams have a multi-national membership, with the foreign and local communities well-represented on every team.
As the league celebrates its fifth year, fans can expect gift giveaways and celebrity appearances throughout the playoff weekends.
All CIHL playoff games will be played at the Taipei Arena and admission is free.
For more information, visit www.cihl.com.tw/international or send an e-mail to cihl.international @gmail.com.
ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY STAFF WRITER