AWARE rolls to 3rd straight, while Expedia crushes Hertz

The early game on American Thanksgiving proved to be about giving thanks, with AWARE beating Sukhumvit Spitfires and extending their winning streak to 3 games.

{Editors Note:  Because the Sukhumvit Spitfires did not have a goaltender at the opening puck drop, as per League Rules 6.5, which states : Teams are expected to be ready to play at the scheduled start time. A minimum of 10 skaters and 1 goaltender are required to start a game. If the team fails to have 10 skaters and 1 goalie by the scheduled opening faceoff, the game will be forfeited. The team with the required number of players will receive points for a 1 – 0 win. The game will still be played, but a 1-0 win is recorded. Forfeited games will not be re-scheduled.  The Spitfires forfeited this game but AWARE and Spitfires decided to play a friendly game.}

A confident AWARE group looked ready to harvest when it seemed like the Spitfires team would be forced to forfeit the game. A communication breakdown had led to the league-leading Spitfires squad dressing a team of ten skaters but no goalie for the opening face-off. However, the team, led by captain and the eventual Rolling Stone Pizza Player-of-the-Game Brad Wilson, found extra energy in the challenge and decided to go with six skaters on the ice and start the game as scheduled. 

Aware captain Patrik Lundback avoids a check from Sukhumvit’s Ernesto Bauer.

The Spitfires players proved to be more than ready to start on time; while the AWARE squad was all about giving thanks in the opening minutes. Before the game was three minutes old the goalie-less Spitfires had taken a commanding 2-0 lead and the AWARE players looked like they had already made turkey dinner plans and forgot all about the ongoing game of ice hockey. The dominance of Spitfires continued in the first period until AWARE winger Darius Konotopetz decided to ignite his team and, against “the code”, took a slap shot at the open net to finally get AWARE on the board.

Spitfires goalie Pattarapol Ungkulpattanasuk finally arrived and was in the net to start the second period with Sukhumvit leading 3-2. Maybe five-on-five hockey and a goalie to shoot at was just what AWARE needed to get back in the game and abandon the turkey stuffing discussions on the bench. An eventful but low-scoring second period was followed up by three straight goals in the third to put AWARE up and ahead for good. The final score was 6-4 in AWARE’s favour, snapping Sukhumvit’s three-game win streak and giving AWARE one of their own.

Spitfires got goals from Peam Jaratwuttipreeda, Adrian Meyers, Tan Limpinphet and Dave McBurney. While Darius Konotopetz netted a couple of goals and David Boere, Mangkorn Sukwiboon, Devin Michael and substitute player Thor Chartsuwan potted singles for AWARE.

On a night that many of the players will late forget, we remember to be thankful, grateful and blessed to be able to play ice hockey in the Thai capital.

In our second game of the night, we had Hertz vs Expedia. Hertz really looked ready to go at the start of this one, and it showed when substitute Stephen Sproule scored thirty seconds in, off an assist from Jantaphong “Moo” Tengsakul.

Hertz’s “Moo” Tengsakul and Expedia’s Rob Taylor turn to face the play after the puck drop.

Unfortunately, this would be the only goal for Hertz all night. Just two minutes after Sproule’s goal, Jordan Ashton scored the first of five goals, all within a 13-minute span of the first period (a new SHL record). His first two were unassisted, his next one came off assists from Andrew Shutsa and Juhani Ijas. Ashton’s fourth goal was assisted by Mike Wilson, and his fifth goal was assisted again by Iljas.

The only goal in the second period was scored by Wilson with John Schachnovsky marking up his second point of the season. Four minutes into the third period, Schachnovsky scored his first of two goals on the night, his first tallies of the young season. His second goal came from playmaker Ijas, the coach of the Thai National Hockey Team. Just over seven minutes into the period, Ashton scored his 6th and final goal of the night (another SHL record) with the assist coming from Teerapol “La” Chamnanrattanakul. For some reason, Pratch Siridhara felt he needed to slow down Hertz, and he was called for holding with 3:38 left in the second period, but Expedia did a stellar job of killing the penalty.

With just shy of five minutes left in the game, La Chamnanrattanakul scored his first goal of the season, with Wilson getting his second assist of the night. Then, with just over a minute left in the game, Remo Neffenegger added to Expedia’s crushing lead, to give them 11 goals on the night, Chamnanrattanakul notched his second assist of the night.

The final score of the night was Expedia crushing Hertz, 11 goals to 1, with Hertz having 2 more shots on net than Expedia (35-33).

Substitute netminder, Patrick Leduc did a stellar job, stopping 34 of 35 shots to earn himself the Rolling Stone Pizza Player of the Game.

Game 9 and 10 of SHL action continues on Sunday November 26th at “the Rink”, Central Plaza Grand Rama 9, with AWARE battling Expedia at 8:30PM and the Spitfires taking on Hertz at 9:30PM.

(Reporting by Christian Olofsson – 1st game; Dom Dumais – 2nd game; Photography by Tadamasa Nagayma).