Novotel & Siam Mandalay start off 2021 with victories

The Siam Hockey League (SHL) last played on December 13th due to the second spike of the Coronavirus pandemic, so it took players time to find their skating legs last Sunday but once they did Novotel skated to a 4-2 victory over Aware in game one and Siam Mandalay came back to defeat KCG 5-3 in game two.

Novotel started strong in this game striking for three goals within a five-minute span late in the first period on goals by Mangkorn Sukwiboom, Ken Kindborn and Mike Freeson and it looked like the game would be over early.

Novotel’s Tomas Stastny lets one rip as Aware’s Roman Larin looks on.

Aware showed great resolve, however, and battled back as Masato Kitayama scored late in the second period to narrow the score to 3-1. Mike Freeson put the game away with his second goal of the night midway through the third period. But Roman Larin on a great dangle and individual effort, which earned him the Jerky Monster play-of-the-week award, made the final 4-2 in Novotel’s favour.

Late in the game, Thai national team captain Ken Kindborn received a nasty gash to the right side of his face and forehead when Masato Kitayama’s blasts shattered his visor. But he is one tough dude and promised to return for next Sunday’s action.

Aware’s Brandon Vick heads up ice with Novotel’s Tomas Stastny in hot pursuit.

For his outstanding four-point night (2G,2A), Spitfires captain Mike Freeson was once again named the Rolling Stone Pizza player-of-the-game. Ben Kleineschay made 31 saves in a stellar performance in the Novotel net gaining the victory, while Lance Parker made 18 saves in the Aware goal.

The second game saw Siam Mandalay’s crash line (Darius Konotopetz, Mitch Morrison and Turner Johnson) continue to bang away and make things happen. Patrick Forstner started things off for Siam Mandalay giving them a 1-0 lead but two late goals by Harrison Oztemel and Gabe Rosko put KCG ahead 2-1 going into the second period. KCG upped their lead to 3-1 early in the second on a nice goal by Jan Isaksson.

KCG’s Jan Isaksson dangles as Siam Mandalay’s Non Aekkasemnarong pursues.

But then the Crash Line went to work as Mitch Morrison and Darius Konotopetz with two staked Siam Mandalay to a 4-3 lead. Tan Limpinphet added the clincher on a pass for Michael White who was subbing for Mike Wilson on the night.

The Rolling Stone Pizza player-of-the-game went to Siam Mandalay forward Darius Konotopetz who had two goals, including the winner, and an assist on the night. Dream Ungkulpattanasuk made 20 saves in the Siam Mandalay net earning the win, while Leo Liao made 18 saves in the KCG net.

Siam Mandalay’s skipper Jordan Ashton gives KCG’s Pann Hongsawadhi a gentle nudge.

Novotel Spitfires dominate the SHL race as Mike Freeson and Ken Kindborn are tied for the league lead with 16 points each and Tomas Stastny is in second spot with 14 points. The KCG pair of Harrison Oztemel and Jan Isaksson sit tied in third with nine points each.

SHL action at the Imperial Samrong continues on February 14th with Novotel playing KCG at 9pm and Siam Mandalay facing off Aware at 10pm.