TEPER, Nepal (AP) Bhutan has won its first-ever hockey World Cup in its history, defeating Sweden 5-1 on Tuesday night in its opener against China in a game that was televised on the Chinese-language hockey network Teer.
Tieme Sherpa, the 22-year-old son of former NHLer David Sherpa and a member of the Bhutan Hockey Federation, scored twice for the Bhutians.
It was the first time a team has ever won a World Cup, and the first in Nepal.
It marks a turnaround for Bhutan, which was not able to win a medal at the last Olympics in 2014, after winning the Asian Games for the first and second years of the Asian Development Foundation’s (ADF) membership.
The victory also marks the end of a long drought in the hockey world, as the last two years have seen the decline in the popularity of the game.
It is one of the reasons why the tournament was put on hold after Nepal’s failed 2014 bid.
Bhutan is also one of only three countries to have won a gold medal at a World Ice Hockey Championships.
A victory here would mark the first victory by a country at an international tournament for decades.
The team that won the 2014 World Cup was led by David Sherpas son, and Teer is one half of the hockey dynasty of David Sherpsons son and Bhutan hockey coach.
The Sherpas played for the World Cup team in 2015 and were on the World Team for the 2014 and 2016 World Championships.
Teba Teer led the team that was defeated by Sweden 5 2.
Bhutan lost in the quarterfinals to eventual champions Switzerland in the final.
The final between Sweden and Bhutian is slated for June 2 in Pahang, a city on the Nepalese side of the border with China.
The game is scheduled for 10 p.m.
PT and will be televised on Chinese-only channel Teer, with English commentary.
Tera Teer played in the World Hockey Championships in 2016, when he scored the overtime goal that put the winning team over Russia in the medal game.
He had already been in the spotlight in 2014 for a postgame interview in which he was asked if he would return to the World Championship if it was called off, and said yes.