In the final weekend of regular SHL action on Sunday, February 24th TRUE shut down AWARE 3-0 on two second-period goals by Tan Limpinphet and Adrian Meyers, also getting a third-period clincher from Jesse Starosta, who has found new life playing between Patrick Forstner and Jordan Ashton. This enabled TRUE to clinch third-place
TRUE keeper Lance Parker won Rolling Stone Pizza player-of-the-game honors, earning his first shut-out in just over a year as TRUE really put it to league-leading AWARE outshooting them 37-14 in this contest. What a difference a couple of months can make as in mid-November AWARE thrashed TRUE 9-2, and dominated that game throughout. Not this time though, as TRUE was in control from the get-go although AWARE was missing Juhani Ijas and Roman Larin.
Heading into game two Hertz knew they would be playing top-seeded AWARE in the other semi-final game and they came out flat as Novotel jumped into a 3-1 lead on two goals by SHL scoring leader Corry Day and one by Ed McConnell. Darius Konotopetz scored Hertz’ first goal. But something happened to Hertz during the second intermission and they came out energized scoring three goals in six minutes to take the lead 4-3 as Mangkorn Sukwiboon scored twice and sub Non Aekkasemnarong once.
Novotel, who has lost all its games in overtime this year, wanted to avoid extra minutes, so they rallied with Michael White getting the tying goal with 2:27 on the clock and then Ken Kindborn on a nice feed from Ed McConnell won the game with 32 seconds left on the clock.
Anders Olofsson substituted for Novotel on the night as the Spitfires were missing Tommi Hakkinen, Carly Hill, Jouni Heinonen, Jason Bitter and captain Brad Wilson, so they skated with the league minimum nine players. Hertz was missing star forward Andy Brine on the night.
Novotel’s keeper Yves Gaboriault stopped 14 of the 18 shots fired at him while Hertz’s Dream Ungkulpattanasuk stopped 24 of the 29 shots sent his way.
Ken Kindborn of Novotel was named the Rolling Stone Pizza player-of-the-game for his two-point night (1G, 1A) and he made a number of outstanding rushes throughout the night.
Novotel’s Corry Day (19 G, 14A) won the SHL scoring title with AWARE’s Harrison Oztemel (21G, 9A) coming in second, though Harrison did score the most goals of any player this year. Novotel’s Michael White was in third spot with 26 points (11G, 15A). TRUE’s Jordan Ashton (14G, 11A) finished fourth and AWARE’s Juhani Ijas came fifth with 12 goals and 12 assists for 24 points. AWARE’s Patrick Leduc was the premiere goalie in the SHL for the second year running with the best GAA.
The playoffs start on Sunday, March 3rd with AWARE playing Hertz at 8:30pm Novotel facing off against TRUE 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.