Suhkumvit continues to roll & AWARE earns first win

The second set of games in the young season of the Sport Corner Siam Hockey League (SHL) took place on Thursday November 16th. The opening contest saw the Sukhumvit Spitfires come back from a 4-0 deficit for a stunning 5-4 victory over Hertz, while AWARE shut-out Expedia 3-0 in the second match.

Sukhumvit’s Peam Jaratwuttipreeda turns the corner and heads up ice.

Hertz came out of the dressing room revved up like a well-oiled rent-a-car and with four minutes left in the first period held a 4-0 lead. Andy Brine scored two of those goals, while Justin St Denis and Bill Bredesen each added singles, as Hertz continually swarmed around Sukhumvit goalie Pattarapol “Dream” Ungkulpattanasuk. The Sukhumvit players tried to regroup but were in obvious shock at their early deficit. Fans feared a blow-out, but then with 13 seconds left in the first period, star defenseman Adrian Meyers blasted a shot past Hertz keeper Lance Parker that gave Sukhumvit hope going into the first intermission. Ironically, last season, Lance played for Sukhumvit and Dream was Hertz’s (then Hooters Nana) goalie. Both teams had 28 shots on net in this game.

Tan Limpinphet, and Thai National team captain Tewin “Thor” Chartsuwan, again subbing for Michael White, scored for Sukhumvit in the second period to draw them within one heading into the third period. Dave McBurney tied it up early in the third period and then Jason Bitter, who had previously been cursing himself for missed opportunities, scored the go-ahead and winning goal, one-timing a beautiful feed from Harrison Oztemel past Parker.

Thor continued to contribute to Suhkumvit’s early success. He may be a step slower these days, but his overall game has improved tremendously, as he won many key face-offs, shut down Hertz’s players with a number of decisive defensive plays, scored one goal, and had another called back because the referees couldn’t determine if the goal had indeed gone in, or hit the crossbar. The Rolling Stone Pizza MVP in game one, however, went to Dave McBurney {interview} for his goal and solid all-around play.

Aware’s captain Patrik Lundback chased by Expedia’s Win Khuhakaew.

Game two was going to have a hard time matching the high drama to the finish of game one, but SHL pundits were left shaking their heads with AWARE’s 3-0 shutout win. These same pundits, just days before, were predicting Expedia to rip through all their opponents. Still missing their captain Mike Wilson, Expedia didn’t have the jump they did in game one, and AWARE played much better as a team.

Yean Thanakroekkiat, Phu Suwachirat and Darius Konotopetz each scored for AWARE, in the first, second and third periods, respectively. Phu, playing in just his second SHL game—the youngest player in the league—was selected as the Rolling Stone Pizza MVP of the game. {interview}

After a shaky opening night, AWARE’s Gabor Toth returned to his usual self, putting on an excellent goalkeeping display and earning the first shutout of the young season, while turning away 22 shots. Yves Gaboriault, his counterpart in the Expedia net, stopped 24 of the 27 pucks fired his way.

The season continues Sunday November 20th with the first-place Spitfires playing Expedia at 8:30pm and Aware doing battle against Hertz at 9:30pm. Admission is free and all games take place at the Rink, 7th floor, Central Grand Rama IX (Photography by Tadamasa Nagayma).