The Novotel Spitfires have a habit of winning games in the final minute of play: they have done it three times this year and they did it again last Sunday defeating Siam Mandalay with just ten seconds left in the game. Siam Mandalay jumped into a 2-0 lead on goals by Turner Johnson and captain Jordan Ashton and heading into the third period it looked like Novotel was headed for its first loss of the season.
But then Novotel’s Ken Kindborn woke up, scoring two goals on Siam Mandalay keeper Dream Ungkulpattanasuk, fooling him with two long shots, the latter with 2 & 1/2 minutes left in regulation time, Then just as it looked like we were headed to overtime, Mangkorn Sukwiboon hit Captain Mike Freeson with a nice pass as he skated into the offensive zone and sent a knuckle puck over the stunned left shoulder of Dream, clinching Novotel’s fifth straight win, allowing them to remain undefeated this season. All of Novotel’s last-minute goals have come from almost the exact same place, high in the faceoff circle of the left side of the attacking zone.
Turner Johnson took the Jerky Monster play of the week award for his nice backhand pass to Ashton, which set up Siam Mandalay’s second goal on a power play. Alex Phelps made a nice play himself setting up Johnson on Siam Mandalay’s first goal driving around the net and planting the puck on Johnson’s stick. Hideki Nagayama was subbing for Siam Mandalay who was missing Patrick Forstner, Ernesto Bauer and Darius Konotopetz. Novotel’s Ben Kleineschay won the Rolling Stone Pizza player-of-the-game of the second time this season, stopping in 27 of the 29 shots fired at him.
Game two was all KCG who improved its season record to 4-1 as they defeated Aware 5-1 keeping Aware winless this season. Winnie Luckanatinakorn got KCG on the board when he shot the puck past Lance Parker, who was making his first start for Aware, after coming over from Novotel last week. Time Phatigulsate and Andy Tse had assists on the first goal. The second KCG goal saw Jan Iskasson hit sub Michael White with a perfect pass as he one-timed into the net. On the 3rd KCG goal, Lance took himself out of the play thinking it was offside and Jari Eerkainen took advantage finding the back of the twine. Winnie Luckanatinakorn then scored his second of the night through Lance’s legs with Time assisting again. The last goal was a sweet wrap around by Jan, who scored in his third straight game and has his third straight multipoint game. Roman Larin scored Aware’s lone goal with David Boere assisting midway through the third period to break Leo Liao’s shutout. Liao took the Rolling Stone Pizza player-of-the-game stopping all but one of the 29 shots he faced.
SHL action continues on Sunday November 22nd with Aware taking on Siam Mandalay at 9pm while Novotel faces off against KCG at 10pm for a game which is shaping up to be a thriller between the league’s two top teams. Novotel’s Ken Kindborn leagues the young season in scoring with 13 points followed teammate Mike Freeson at ten points and KCG’s Harrison Oztemel with nine points. Novotel’s Tomas Stastny and KCG’s Jesse Starosta are tied in fourth spot with eight points each.