Mainland Media response
Erm......last month The Taiwan (sic) Senior Men's team played a 3 game Summit Series against a group of Canadian buxiban teachers that live in Taiwan and couldn't beat them, although the games were very close. ( http://tw.forumosa.com/....../taiwan-v....../157269...... ) The idea that any team in Asia could compete with an Olympic-calibre team is nothing more than a pipe dream.
That said, Taiwan (sic) hockey has vastly improved in the last 10 years, but until the country builds more rinks (preferably one dedicated to hockey and not a money grab for public skating), the program will remain firmly entrenched in Division 3 and never be able to compete with Asian powerhouses Japan, South Korea and Kazakstan.
An ideal situation, if anyone in the government cared to listen/act, would be to develop a grass roots program in communities all across this freedom-loving country by building ice rinks on the military bases that dot the landscape. Follow this up by actually financially supporting the elite Taiwanese players (they currently have to foot their own bills for travel, ice time and hockey tape) to represent the country on the international stage and we may see advancement into Div 2 20 years later.
Unfortunately, the decision makers in the country's regulatory bodies seem only interested in lining their own pockets. The players have to pay more for practice ice time than they would if they just rented the ice for themselves.
It's not all bleak, mind you. The hiring of National Program Head Coach Ryan Lang is a major step in the right direction. As a player in the former CIHL, Lang was the stuff of nightmares for all goalies, sometimes notching upwards of 8 goals a game. It is evident to anyone with a cursory knowledge of hockey that Coach Lang is developing a system that takes full advantage of the smaller Taiwanese players speed and heart.
As for the brawl with China, yes, this does happen in hockey. It is part of the culture. But, there were mitigating factors that this article misses. Earlier in the game, while one of the of the Chinese players was serving a minor penalty, a couple of donkey fans started chirping him from the stands. The Mainlander father came down to confront the idiots, security was summoned and the tempers of all involved were set a-bubbling.
In the waning seconds of the game, Team Taiwan attempted to take a couple of cheap shots away from the play. So, in a way, they kinda asked for the post -game melee. That said, the 4 on 1 ganging up was beyond the pale. That rarely happens in hockey culture. As brutal as some lay people may find the act of a hockey fight, there is honour amongst the brutes. If a 3rd player attempts to interfere in a fight, he will quickly be peeled off by an opposing player and recieve stiff post-game penalties and possible fines. To gang up on a single player, is...cowardly.
By making it political with the flag waving, Team China showed it's true nature as the worst of all types of athletes, the poor winner. The IIHF and The IOC should take a good hard look at this act and consider sanctioning the Chinese National team and possibly keeping them from participating in the 2022 Olympic Tournament, although, it is gonna be funny to see how badly they get embarrassed by western hockey powers.
So, to all the Chinese trolls seizing on this event to spread your propaganda, I say this:
You may have won the match, but you will NEVER take our Freeeeeedooooooom!!!!!