Finely-tuned SC-Titanium machine soars to game one win
SC-Titanium came out flying and stayed airborne all game, thoroughly trouncing Hooters Nana 10-1 in the first game of the inaugural Siam Hockey League (SHL) championship.
Captain Mike Wilson and Joe Lamantia were back in the SC-Titanium line-up, after missing the clinching semi-final game against AWARE. Pratch Siridhara, Araya “Ith” Vatanapanyakul and Arkadi Goncharev were still absent though and Hooters Nana was missing Jordan Nolan and Sebastien Ranger, but both teams elected to not go for any substitute players.
SC-Titanium jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first period on goals by Remo Nyffenegger, Zak Garofolo and Jouni Heinonen. Teerapol “La” Chamnanrattanakul scored Hooters only goal early in the second period and after Dream made a flurry of nice saves, it looked like Hooters might draw close, but four sudden tallies from SC-Titanium including two more from Heinonen, one more from Garofolo and another from Panithi “Jeto” Nawasmittawong left Hooters reeling and they never recovered entering the third period down 7-1. SC-Titanium continued to pile it on with Joe Lamantia, Mike Wilson and John Schachnovsky making the final tally 10-1.
Zak Garofolo’s six-point night (2G. 4As) tied an SHL record for most points in a single game with Sukhumvit’s Donny Kerfoot who earlier fired 4 goals and 2 assists in a regular-season contest.
SC-Titanium’s goalie Gabor Toth wasn’t really tested on the night as his team outshot Hooters by more than 2 to 1, sending 40 shots at Pattarapol “Dream” Ungkulpattanasuk, while Gabor faced 17 shots himself. Toth bragged after the game how easy the game was; hopefully, that remark won’t come back to haunt him. Dream did make a number of good saves during the game, but he wasn’t the same dominant force he was in the semi-final, when he was the main reason his team beat the Sukhumvit Spitfires.
Goal-scoring in the playoffs so far has been dominated by SC-Titanium as the team holds the first four scoring spots with Zak Garofolo, Jouni Heinonen, John Schachnovsky and Panithi “Jeto” Nawasmittawong leading the way in that order. AWARE’s Corry Day is the only non-Titanium player to crack the top five.
The irony of the result in this game was that the majority of SHL contests all year long were closely fought with one or two goals usually deciding the outcome.
One can only hope that Hooters Nana rebounds from the trouncing because in game one they looked like the team that finished last in the regular season, not the team that upset the regular-season champions, the Sukhumvit Spitfires. If they don’t rebound many will claim it was their substitute players (Rob Taylor, Henrik Olofsson, Michael Nightingale, and Ray Forte) that enabled them to reach the championship round.
In a pre-game ceremony Donny Kerfoot of the Sukhumvit Spitfires won the Johnny Oduya MVP trophy edging out AWARE’s Patrik Lundback and SC-Titanium’s Mike Wilson.
The second game of the SHL final goes Thursday April 27th at 8:30pm at “the Rink”, 7th floor, Central Grand Rama 9.
For more information on the SHL check out Dom Dumais great podcasts and interviews with SHL players.