The Novotel Spitfires and Siam Mandalay continued their early success in 2021 winning for the second straight week as Novotel defeated KCG 2-1 in an overtime thriller in game one on Valentine’s Day and Siam Mandalay beat Aware 4-1 in game two.
Novotel tool a 1-0 lead late in period one when two wily veterans combined as substitute Steven Sproule found Scott Murray who sniped a snapshot by stunned KCG keeper Leo Liao.
KGG battled back and when Scott Murray took a hooking penalty the KCG powerplay went to work and Thai national team star Jan Isaksson snapped one past Ben Kleineschay from Punn Phasukkjwtana.
The play was pretty much even throughout as Novotel outshot KCG 30-28 and both keepers made a number of key saves to send the game into overtime.
Thirty seconds into overtime Spitfire defenseman Christoph Anliker rambled up ice and cut behind the KCG net to feed a perfect centering pass to Tomas Stastny who fired it home with a blast reminiscent of his father slapping one home for the Quebec Nordiques.
Game two saw Thai national team player Kim Aarola play his first game for his new team Aware since coming out of quarantine and he did draw an assist on Aware’s only goal by Roger Promthong midway thru the first period.
This game was much closer than the score indicated as Siam Mandalay only lead 2-1 for most of the game on markers by captain Jordan Ashton and Tan Limpinphet.
They added two goals in the final two minutes as first Mike Wilson on a nice wrist shot scored the clincher and then Tan with a beauty and his second goal of the night send a sizzling wrist shot past Aware keeper Lance Parker to make it a 4-1 final. Tan’s second goal earned him the Jerky Monster play-of-the-week award.
For his end-to-end rush that set up Tomas Stastny’s OT-winning goal Novotel’s Christoph Anliker earned the Rolling Stone Pizza player-of-the-game in game one. Dream Ungkulpattanasuk making 18 saves in the Siam Mandalay net took up the pizza honours in game two.
After ten weeks of action, the Novotel Spitfires sit atop the SHL standings with a 9-1-0 record for 18 points. KCG sits in second spot with a 5-3-2 record for 12 points. Siam Mandalay, the only team to beat Novotel, is in third position with a 5-4-1 record for 11 points and Aware is in the cellar with a 1-9 record.
The Novotel Spitfires still dominate the SHL race as Mike Freeson is in first spot with 20 points, Ken Kindborn is in second spot with 17 points and Tomas Stastny is in third place with 15 points. KCG teammates Jan Isaksson and Patrick Forstner are in fourth and fifth place with 12 and 11 points, respectively.
SHL action at the Imperial Samrong continues on February 21st with Siam Mandalay facing off against KCG at 9pm and Novotel playing Aware at 10pm.