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.
The first goal of the second period saw Aware’s dazzling power play prowess go to work when Yutaka Kariya was called for holding, and 30 seconds later Aware stretched out Hertz’s penalty kill unit with some precision passing, which allowed Corry Day to find the back of the net. Hertz continued to remain strong throughout the rest of the second period only allowing one more goal.
Hertz tried to mount a last period comeback with goals from Bill Bredesen and Mike Triacca, but a pair of goals from Jouni Heinonen as well as a goal from Phanuruj (Phu) Suwachirat and one from Papan (Yean) Tanakroekkiat took the wind out of Hertz’s sails. The final score of the game was 7-2 for Aware with Ollie Moyse being awarded the Rolling Stone Pizza Player of the Game for his goal and assist in this one.
The second game saw the Sukhumvit Spitfires playing Expedia, with Expedia trying to end a season’s long losing streak. For this game, Expedia was missing team captain Mike Wilson and league-leading scorer Juhani Ijas, amongst others. While they had some quality substitutes, including super-sub Tewin (Thor) Chartsuwan, the lack of chemistry showed as the Spitfires pulled out the victory 4-2. Sukhumvit captain Brad Wilson did his best Connor McDavid impression when he skated through the entire Expedia team and finished with a backhand snipe over Expedia goalie Yves Gaboriault’s left shoulder. Before the end of the first period, Finnish superstar defenseman Jari Eerikainen made a similar full-ice rush and calmly deposited the puck past Spitfire goalie Dream Ungkulpattanasuk to tie the game at one, going into the first intermission.
The second period seemed to be all Spitfires. With Eerikainen in the box for tripping, Sukhumvit needed very little time to capitalize. Jason Bitter showed great hand-eye coordination as he deflected in a point shot from Tommi Hakkinen to restore the lead for Sukhumvit. Late in the second period substitute Stephen Sproule showed more amazing hand-eye coordination when he batted a Tan Limpinphet feed into the net. The third period saw both teams scoring, with Limpinphet getting the fourth Spitfires goal to give him a two-point night, securing him Rolling Stone Pizza Player of the Game honors. With the game well out of reach, Expedia scored a late goal to make the final a respectable 4-2.
The Spitfires fired 23 pucks at Expedia’s Yves Gaboriault on the night, while Sukhumvit’s Ungkulpattanasuk saw 22 shots directed at him by Expedia’s snipers.
The SHL standings have AWARE atop the table with a 10-2 record; the Sukhumvit Spitfires are in second spot at 7-5; Expedia is in third with a 4-8 mark, and Hertz is in last with a 3- 9 record.
Hertz’s Andy Brine sits atop the SHL’s stats race with 16 points; Expedia’s Juhani Ijas is in second place with 15 points: AWARE’s Devin Michael is in third spot with 14 points and AWARE’s Darius Konotopetz and Phu Suwachirat are tied for fourth with 11 points each.
The SHL continues play on Thursday January 25th with Hertz playing Expedia at 8:30pm and AWARE playing Sukhumvit at 9:30. Admission is free and all games take place at the Rink, 7th floor, Central Grand Rama IX.
For more information on the SHL check out Dom Dumais great podcasts and interviews with SHL players.