The second set of games in the 2018-19 Siam Hockey League (SHL) took place on Thursday, October 18th. Action in the first contest saw AWARE thump the Novotel Spitfires 6-3, while in the evening’s second match Hertz defeated TRUE 3-2 in an overtime thriller.
Roman Larin made his SHL debut for AWARE and what a debut it was as he won the Rolling Stone Pizza player-of-the-game award scoring two goals and adding an assist, becoming the second Pattaya-based player to earn PoG honors in the young SHL season, as Aaro Vuorma did the same last week.
AWARE was missing captain Patrik Lundback for this game, but it didn’t seem to slow them down as they fired 36 shots at Novotel keeper Gabor Toth. They brought their sharpshooters for this game as both Larin and Thai teenager Winnie Luckanatinakorn fired laser-like top-corner blasts past a stunned Toth. Harrison Oztemel and Vuorma also scored for AWARE as did Anders Olofsson, with a blast from the point, subbing in for his brother, Christian.
Brandon Vick, Corry Day and David Boere scored for Novotel, who fired 28 shots at AWARE keeper Patrick Leduc. Ironically, both Day and Boere played for AWARE last season, so they may have had some insider knowledge on where to shoot on Leduc, who in this game made a number of key spots every time Novotel tried to gain momentum and get back in the game.
Unfortunately, late in the game, Corry Day was knocked hard into the AWARE net by Oztemel earning a nasty lump on his cheek; but the next morning, he was back in the gym working out. Canadian farm boys – tough as nails.
In game two, Hertz jumped out to an early 2-0 lead on goals by Thai national team players Yean Thanakroekkiat and Champ Supadilokluk, but TRUE fought back to tie it up on third-period markers by Jordan Ashton and captain Mike Wilson. TRUE applied all kinds of pressure in the final minutes as head referee Jeremy Hutchins handed out three quick penalties in succession to Hertz players Andy Brine, Champ Supadilokluk and Jari Eerikainen. But Hertz amazingly killed off all three penalties, with some great goaltending by Dream Ungkulpattanasuk sending the game into OT.
In the OT stanza, the action was heated and back-and-forth but Yean ended it scoring his second goal of the night after deking out TRUE keeper Lance Parker on a breakaway. Moments before, at the other end of the ice, Jordan Ashton had lost the puck to the wet ice on a breakaway. Yean earned Rolling Stone Pizza PoG honours, which was both fitting and deserving as it was his birthday. TRUE outshot Hertz 28-19 on the game and did earn a point for their overtime loss.
Panvipa “Pang” Suksirivecharuk made history by being the first female to officiate an SHL game and she did a good job not backing down from anyone.
The next SHL action takes place this Sunday, October 28th with Hertz playing the Novotel Spitfires at 8:30 pm and undefeated AWARE playing TRUE at 9:30 pm. Admission is free and the games take place at the Rink, 7th floor, Central Grand Rama IX.
Photography by Tadamasa Nagayama
For more information on the SHL check out Dom Dumais great podcasts and interviews with SHL players.