In what has been arguably the most entertaining series in the history of the Sport Corner Siam Hockey League, Aware and Peak Biolabs played the decisive third and final game of their entertaining semi-final round series. The winner would earn the right to play Novotel Spitfires for the SHL Championship on Saturday, March 14.
Aware played without a few key players, including Andy Tse, injured in game two of the series. While Peak was still without captain Harrison Oztemel.
Peak got the jump on Aware early, when at the five-minute mark of the first period, Ryan Yaden found himself with the puck camped out in front of Aware goalie Dream, and Yaden made no mistake, getting his first goal of the playoffs. Less than a minute later, Peak doubled their lead when Patrick Forstner took a pass from Yaden and fired the puck passed Dream. Aware was able to buckle down on defense and the game became much more even the rest of the first period, and the period ended 2-0.
Aware came out strong in the second period and earned an early power play. With Mike White in the box for tripping, Aware substitute Seb Verdy was the recipient of a gift from Peak goalie Gabor Toth. Toth made a save, but mistakenly tried to move the puck quickly, and the puck ended up on Verdy’s stick. Verdy’s unassisted power-play goal cut the Aware deficit in half.
Peak made it a two-goal lead again when Stephen Sproule picked up a loose puck in front of the goal after Jesse Starosta fed the puck into the slot. Sproule pounced on the biscuit and tossed it over Dream’s shoulder to make the score 3-1.
Early in the third period, Aware once again cut the deficit to one, when Matt Johnson took a pass from Scott Murray and was able to fire a shot from distance passed Toth.
Again, the lead was short-lived, when Forstner took a pass from Sproule only two minutes later and made a great individual effort passed the Aware defense and slid the puck past Dream to make the score 4-2.
Late in the game, with Dream pulled for an extra attacker, Mike White did what he did in game 2, which was to seal the win with an empty-net goal. This one was made possible after John Schachnovsky chipped the puck out of the Peak zone and White was able to skate onto the puck with speed in the neutral zone and laid the puck in the net, and the Peak players and fans could finally breathe a sigh of relief as they knew their team was headed to the SHL championship.
For his two-point effort Ryan Yaden was named the Rolling Stone Pizza player-of-the-game award.