SSTMI Thunderbolts lifted their fourth consecutive MHC-Milo-NSC Junior Hockey Legue double when they edged UniKL Young Guns 4-1 in a penalty shoot-out at the National Hockey Stadium in Bukit Jalil yesterday.
Tied at 0-0 after regulation time ended, SSTMI showed maturity in the shoot-out with steady nerves to lift the Milo Cup but shared the combined prize money of RM25,000 for champions and RM15,000 for runenrs-up with the University side.
In the bronze playoff, Petaling Jaya City Council beat SSP-MSP Thunderbolts 3-1. The PJCC goals were scored by Haikal Zamri (4th) Faid Farhad (16th) and Faiq Razin (69th). The SSP-MSP goal scorer was Haziq Fawwaz (26th).
PJCC received RM12,000 while SSP-MSP RM10,000.
"We are of course happy to win our fourth consecutive JHL double but it was not easy this time around as UniKL put up a great fight and only that we were better in the penalty shoot-out. My players deserve credit for giving their all," said SSTMI Thunderbolts coach Wan Roslan Wan Rahman.
SSTMI have the best players in the country and some of them have been together for the past five years: "There are many quality players who shone this season in many other teams as well and the gap is slowly closing down on us. But I see this as a positive outcome as the country will benefit in the long run with a bigger pool of players," said Wan Roslan.
As for UniKL coach I. Vickneswaran, there was no shame in defeat.
"When I took charge of this team in January, the players were a motley crew which came from all obver the country, and I am proud of them because they managed to click together and share the prize money with SSTMI.
"I see this as a big achievement for my players, as many of them will have a brighter future in hockey if they continue playing like this," said Vickneswaran.
AWARDS: Most Outstanding Player (Chua Boon Huat Trophy): Maxhans Christie (UniKL, RM1,500); Fairplay: MSSD Larut Matang and Selama (RM4,000); Player-of-the-Final: Adi Fazri (uniKL, RM1,500); Best Goalkeeper: Syafifuddin Zain (SSTMI Thunderbolts, RM1500); Top-Scorer: Najme Ahmad 19 goals(Ismo-PHA, Division Two).