Novotel & KCG continuing their winning ways

The first SHL game on Sunday, February 28th saw the Novotel Spitfires defeat Siam Mandalay 7-5. The second match saw KCG beat Aware by a 7-2 score.

Game one saw Novotel jump out to a 2-0 lead on goals by Major Ingharratohithakon and Ken Kindborn but Siam Mandalay, as they are prone to do, bounced back with markers from Crash Line members Turner Johnson and Darius Konotopetz sending the teams tied at two into the first intermission.

Chritoph Anliker put Novotel back in front early in the second period with a remarkable rush that ended with a remarkable deke past Siam Mandalay keeper Dream Ungkulpattanasuk earning him the Jerky Monster play-of-the week. The teams continued to swap goals as Konotopetz scored to tie it at three and then Novotel’s Seb Verdy scored his third goal in two games before substitute Win Khuhakeaw scored for Siam Mandalay to send the teams tied at four into the second intermission.

Novotel’s Seb Verdy fends off Siam Mandalay’s Alex Phelps.

Novotel captain Mike Freeson was getting tired of his team’s lackadaisical performance and gave them a good talking to during the break. As a result, a much more forceful Novotel appeared from the dressing room in the third period scoring three unanswered goals; two by Tomas Stastny and one by Mangkorn Sukwiboon. Siam Mandalay’s Johnson added a goal late in the game to make it a 7-4 final.

Stastny had a four-point night, following his six-point performance the previous Sunday, and the star player came close to replicating his father’s six- and eight-point nights in successive games with the Quebec Nordiques in the 1980s.

But on this night, Mangkorn Sukwiboon was awarded the Rolling Stone Pizza player-of-the-game award for his outstanding play and four-point performance (1G, 3A).

Siam Mandalay’s Turner Johnson in flight as Novotel’s Major Ingharratohithakon gives chase.

The second game turned into another Jan Isaksson show as he started and finished the scoring for KCG leading them to a 7-2 victory and adding two assists along the way. Jan made it 1-0 early in the game, Aware’s Kim Aarola tied it at one and then Time Phatigulsate staked KCG to 2-1 lead heading into the first intermission.

KCG increased their lead to 5-1 on markers by Jesse Starosta, Mel Dhiranasukorn and captain Harrison Oztemel on a nice top-corner snipe. Aware’s Brandon Vick scored early in the third to give his team some hope but KCG’s Isaksson snuffed out that rally quickly with two straight goals making it a 7-2 final.

Isaksson earned himself the Rolling Stone Pizza player-of-the-game award again for his second straight four-point performance (3G, 1A).

KCG’s Patrick Forstner corrals the puck as Aware players give chase.

After twelve weeks of action, the Novotel Spitfires sit atop the SHL standings with a 11-1-0 record for 22 points. KCG sits in second spot with a 7-3-2 record for 16 points. Siam Mandalay, the only team to beat Novotel, is in third position with a 5-6-1 record for 11 points and Aware is in the cellar with a 1-11 record.

Tomas Stastny of the Novotel Spitfires has now taken over the SHL scoring race witt 25 points. Teammate Mike Freeson is in second spot with 22 points while fellow Spitfire Ken Kindborn is tied for third spot with KCG’s Jan Isaksson with 20 points each. KCG’s Patrick Forstner is in fourth spot with 17 points.

SHL action in this back-to-back series continues at the Imperial Samrong on March 7th with KCG playing Aware at 9pm and Siam Mandalay facing off against Novotel at 10pm.

Aware’s Masato Kitayama fires the puck as KCG’s Gabriel Rosko tries to defend.