The third set of games in the 2018-19 Siam Hockey League (SHL) took place on Sunday October 28th. Action in the first contest saw the Novotel Spitfires beat Hertz 3-1, while AWARE stretched their win streak to three straight topping TRUE in the evening’s second match 6-3.
In the first game, Hertz seemed a tad complacent coming off their thrilling 3-2 OT over TRUE in week two, while the Novotel Spitfires seemed determined and focused from the get-go trying to forget their 6-3 thrashing to AWARE the previous week.
Novotel jumped into a quick 2-0 first-period lead on goals by substitute Ben Dolgin Gardner and David Boere. The team increased its lead to 3-0 midway through the second stanza on a snipe by Michael White, but Hertz’s Yean Thanakroekkiat spoiled Gabor Toth’s shut-out bid with ten minutes left in the game. Making up for a lackadaisical showing last week, Toth turned in a very strong performance stopping 30 of the 31 shots sent his way, while Hertz’ Dream Ungkulpattanasuk stopped 18 of the 21 shots fired at him.
Novotel’s Ken Kindborn was the Rolling Stone Pizza player of the game. Ken returned to Thailand to play in the SHL so he would be eligible to play for the Thai national team and he has made quite the impression so far, both offensively and defensively, on the Spitfires blueline.
The final score in game two was a little bit misleading as the game was a seesaw battle and tied 3-3 with ten minutes to go but then AWARE pulled away with three late goals.
TRUE jumped out to an early 1-0 lead on a goal by substitute Patrick Forstner, who was filling in for captain Mike Wilson. Roman Larin tied it up for AWARE with two minutes left in the period, but Tan Limpinphet sent TRUE ahead again with a few seconds left in the first, scoring on a nice rush. Thai national team coach Juhani Ijas tied it up early in the second period with a “sick” goal on a nice set-up from Bill Bredesen. Juhani deked Lance out of his jockstrap, in a move that left the crowd in awe.
Phu Suwachirat gave AWARE a 3-2 lead with just under three minutes to play in the second, but Tan once again tied it for TRUE just as the period ended. Halfway through the third period, the game swung in AWARE’s however, as a pair of goals by Harrison Oztemel and a single by Matt Sigel sealed the deal. Harrison was named the Rolling Stone Pizza player of the game for his three-point performance (2G, 1A) and he almost tallied a hat-trick in the dying seconds. Juhani also had a three-point night (1G, 2A).
Tan had an outstanding game for TRUE scoring the team’s second goal late in the first period by powering down the right side of the rink, driving to the goal and then slamming the puck past AWARE goalie Patrick Leduc; then late in the second period, he did the same thing but from the other side of the rink driving to the net, faking Leduc to the right and letting the puck slide by him to the left, tying the game at three.
AWARE’s Leduc stopped 14 of the 17 fired his way, while TRUE’s Lance Parker blocked 25 of the 31 shots fired at him by the AWARE juggernaut.
The next SHL action takes place on Thursday, November 8th with Novotel playing the TRUE at 8:30pm and undefeated AWARE playing Hertz at 9:30pm. Admission is free and the 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.