The Siam Hockey League games on Sunday Match 21st felt like a preview of the playoffs that are fast approaching, as many are predicting Siam Mandalay will play KCG and Aware will play the Novotel Spitfires. If the games turn out to be a true preview, we are in for one great series between KCG and Siam Mandalay, as this past week saw one of the most exciting games of the season.
KCG started the scoring in the first period when young speedster Time Phatigulsate took a great pass from Thai National Team sniper Patrick Forstner and fired the puck past Siam Mandalay goalie Dream. KCG added to their lead late in the first period when Jesse Starosta continued to keep pace with the top scorers in the league when he banged home a pass from first year superstar Jan Isaksson.
Siam Mandalay was able to cut the lead in half with only a minute remaining in the first period when Tan Limpinphet scored a highlight reel goal passed Leo. Alasdair Fawcett and Non Aekkaemnrong had the assists.
The second period saw KCG pile onto their lead and it looked like the game would be out of reach.
The scoring started with 10 minutes remaining when Isaksson picked up his first goal and third point of the night on an assist from Time. Less than two minutes later, Time picked up his second goal of the contest, with assists from Isaksson and Tse.
Once again Siam Mandalay would score late in the period to cut the lead to 4-2. With a player in the penalty box, and KCG looking to put the game away, Siam Mandalay would turn the tables and score a shorthanded goal. Mike Wilson got the important marker with assists from Alex Phelps and Turner Johnson.
The third period was owned by Siam Mandalay. They threw everything at the KCG net and were rewarded for their efforts.
Less than one minute into the third, Siam Mandalay grinder Darius Konotopetz scored with assists from Morrison and Turner Johnson.
The rest of the period saw KCG turn away everything Siam Mandalay threw at them.
With Dream on the bench for the extra attacker, and less than thirty seconds to play, Rolling Stone Pizza player of the game Turner Johnson potted the game tying goal with assists from Konotopetz and Wilson.
The overtime saw neither team able to end the contest. The shootout was a goalie dual, with Dream and Leo saving the first six attempts.
On the sixth attempt, Thai National Team defensive superstar Yean Thanakroekkiat took his team on his shoulders and was able to snipe the puck past Leo to secure the comeback and shootout victory for Siam Mandalay.
If game one was an exciting preview for a possible first round matchup, game two showed how far Aware is from truly challenging Novotel in their potential first round playoff series.
Novotel scored early and often and took a commanding 4-0 first period lead. Goals from Magkorn Sukwiboon, Seb Verdy, Ed McConnell, and Peter Borjesson paced Novotel in the commanding opening frame. Assists on the first period goals went to Ken Kindborn (2), Tomas Stastny, Christoph Anliker (2), and Verdy.
The second period saw more of the same, with Novotel adding two more goals, making the score 6-0. Second period tallies were by Sukwiboon and Kindborn, with assists from Kindborn and Stastny.
The third period was peppered with goals. Verdy picked up his second goal and fourth point of the night early in the third period, securing his Rolling Stone Pizza player of the game award. The other goals were from Major Ingkharrathphithakon and Sukwiboon. Assists in the third were provided by Major, Kindborn, Stastny, Anliker, and Mike Freeson.
Aware finally broke through and ruined Novotel goalie Ben Kleineschay’s shutout bid, with D-man Roman Larin providing the only offense, scoring two goals in the final six minutes of play. Assists went to Masato Kitayama and Arnold Vattanapan.
Aware goalie made 17 saves in the losing effort and Ben made 32 saves in his winning performance.
SHL action continues on Sunday Match 28th on the fifth floor of the Imperial Samrong mall when Siam Mandalay faces off against the Novotel Spitfires at 9pm and Aware takes on KCG at 10pm
For more information on the SHL check out Dom Dumais great podcasts and interviews with SHL players.