With twenty-three players missing in total (six each from AWARE, Sukhumvit & Expedia; and five from Hertz) due to injury, other commitments or visits to Pyeongchang to watch the Winter Olympics, SHL management was sent scrambling in search of replacement players on February 15th. Patrick Forstner, Stephen Sproule, Top Rutthapong and Benoit Hardy-Chartrand all pulled double-duty on the night, subbing in both games and Alistair Boulton got his first taste of SHL action, subbing in the first game for AWARE, while Ichiro Hara also subbed for Expedia in game one. A big thank you goes out all these players for allowing each SHL team to meet their minimum player requirement thereby avoiding forfeit.
The first game on February 11th was the most exciting of the season so far with AWARE extending their winning streak to a record eleven games as they beat the Sukhumvit Spitfires 4-3 in a six-round shootout with AWARE captain, Patrik Lundback, the SHL’s best player, fittingly scoring the winning goal in the shoot-out, as a four-minute three-on-three session overtime failed to produce a victor.
The game was back and forth all evening with Sukhumvit taking a 1-0 lead early in the first period on a goal by Harrison Oztemel before AWARE scored twice on markers by Olly Moyse and Corry Day taking a 2-1 lead into the first intermission. Scott Murray and Harrison Oztemel, with his second of the night, staked the Spitfires to a 3-2 lead midway through the second and then Yean Thanakroekkiat, with one of his patented blasts, tied it at three heading into the second intermission. There were plenty of chances on both sides in the third, but both goalies (the Spitfires’ Dream Ungkulpattanasuk and AWARE’s Patrick Leduc) were outstanding, turning away opportunity after opportunity.
In our first game of SHL action on February 4th, we had Expedia facing off against the Sukhumvit Spitfires. Expedia just can’t seem to find a way to get into the win column, having lost their last eight games.
The first period saw lots of action, with plenty of shots on net, but both netminders were on their game, not letting anything by them until there were just over three minutes left in the first period when Adrian Meyers hit Ernesto Bauer with a pass, and Bauer put the puck past Yves Gaboriault.
In the last weekend of January, AWARE stretched its win streak to nine, with a 7-4 victory over Expedia, thereby clinching first place overall in the 2017-18 Sport Corner Siam Hockey League season.
But prior to that game, the Sukhumvit Spitfires claimed second place overall with a 6-3 victory over Hertz. In that contest, Hertz came out looking to build on last game’s win with a pair of goals in the first period from Brandon Vick, but they just weren’t able to capitalize on the early lead.
In the second period, we saw Hertz slow down as the Sukhumvit Spitfires started to soar. Substitute player Tim Suphankomut scored Spitfires first goal just two minutes into the second period after he received a pass from Adrian Meyers. With five minutes left in the second period, the Spitfires scored three quick goals: first, an unassisted tally by Chanokchon “Tan” Limpinphet; second, Araya “Ith” Vatanapanyakul scored assisted by Suphankomut; and third, Michael White scored with just 15 seconds left in the period assisted by Limpinphet and Gary Cosby.
As the SHL calendar, turned into the final third of the season, the second match on January 25th saw AWARE continue their hot streak with a 7-4 victory over the Sukhumvit Spitfires. The two top teams in the standings battled back and forward, with AWARE taking a commanding 4-1 lead in the first. The team in red got two goals from Devin Michael and singles by Corry Day and David Boere to put them ahead going into the first intermission.
The second period saw an offensive outburst by Spitfires that helped them climb back into the game, constantly buzzing in front of solid AWARE goaltender Patrick Leduc. Adrian Myers scored on a pretty passing play just 50 seconds into the period and sniper Michael White danced into the offensive zone and fired a well-placed shot, far side, just a minute later. A controversial quick whistle as well as a goal-crease violation had the Spitfire squad losing their cool and potentially also their momentum going into the final act.
Reporting from Dom Dumais & John Schachnovsky
The twelve set of games in the Sport Corner Siam Hockey League (SHL) saw both AWARE and Sukhumvit win again, though the latter’s two-game winning streak pales in comparison to the former’s seven-game tear, which ties Sukhumvit’s all-time win mark set last season.
In game one, Hertz came out ready to play, and they were able to hold the top- Aware team to only one goal by the end of the first period, when Rakchai (Mongkorn) Sukwiboon let a quick wrist shot go to find the space between Lance Parker’s leg pads.
Thursday January 18th saw the eleventh set of games played in the Sport Corner Siam Hockey League. The opening contest saw AWARE continue its dominance beating Expedia 7-3, while the Sukhumvit Spitfires hung on to defeat Hertz 7-6 in the thrilling second match of the night.
AWARE continues to look like a juggernaut, winning its sixth straight game, as we head towards the SHL championship on March 17th. Switching back to Patrick Leduc, who had yet to lose a game in the SHL, AWARE jumped out to a 3-0 lead on a goal by captain Patrik Lundback and two nice markers by Darius Konotopetz, the second being a nifty rush in from the blue line with a sweet top-shelf finish.
Sunday January 14th saw the Sport Corner Siam Hockey League turn into the second part of its season with the tenth set of games being played. The opening contest saw AWARE whitewash the Sukhumvit Spitfires 9-1, while Hertz defeated Expedia 5-2 in the match of the night.
AWARE is looking like the team to beat as we head towards the SHL championship on March 17th. Despite using three different goaltenders the team has gelled like no other. While other squads have been dogged by injuries or absences the Patrik Lundback-led AWARE squad just seems to find ways to win. And speedster Corry Day continues to play as if he’s continually dipping into the fountain of youth. Nearing 50, Corry skates like a player in his early twenties, using his speed to score and set-up a number of highlight reel goals. In this game, where he won Rolling Stone Pizza player-of-the-game honours, he scored once and had three helpers. Devin Michael also had a huge night for AWARE with two goals and two assists; Lundback added two goals and an assist; and Jouni Heinonen had four assists.
Reporting by Dom Dumais & Christian Oloffson
The Sukhumvit Spitfires and AWARE continued to put up “W’s” on the score sheet in SHL action on Thursday January 11th. In the opening contest, Sukhumvit struck first in its match with Expedia when at 9:15 of the first period some tic-tac-toe passing saw Krittapad “Peam” Jaratwuttipreeda finish off a nice three-way passing play from Michael White and Adrian Meyers. Things then got a little physical near the end of the period when Expedia’s Chayutapon “First” Kulrat was called for body checking.
The final set of games for the 2017 calendar year in the Sport Corner Siam Hockey League (SHL) 2017-2018 season took place on Thursday December 21st. The opening game saw the Sukhumvit Spitfires snap a four-game game losing streak with a 5-2 victory over Hertz, while AWARE edged Expedia 4-3 in a thrilling back-and-forth contest in the second match.
The Spitfires were missing seven of their regular players due to illness or travel commitments, but they did have Tewin “Thor” Chartsuwan in their line-up as a sub. Thor has been in the line-up for all four Sukhumvit victories this year, so it is fair to say he’s earned the moniker “the difference maker”. Michael White, had a huge game for Sukhumvit scoring two goals, roaring all over the ice and earning Rolling Stone Pizza player-of-the-game honours. White, who missed the first six games of the season, has done a nice job of fitting in and finding his groove in the last two games.