Category: League News

KCG & Novotel remain undefeated in young SHL season

Photography by Tadamasa Nagayama

Week two action in the SHL saw KCG beat Aware 6-3 in the first match while the Novotel Spitfires defeated Siam Mandalay 4-3 in the evening’s second game, despite being outshot 34-21.

In game one, Thai-Japanese star Masato Kitiyama staked Aware to a 1-0 lead and then rookie Roger Promthong made it 2-0 for Aware netting an early candidate for goal-of-the-year when he undressed KCG keeper Leo Liao with a between the legs pullback move and then went top shelf over a stunned Liao. Aware struck back with three straight goals as KCG captain Harrison Oztemel netted a pair of goals and Thai rookie Time Phatigulsate a single.

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SHL Week 1 News

Dom and Zack talk about the events from the first week of games.

In the first game, we had the Novotel Spitfires, last year’s SHL Cup Champions, going head to head with Aware. It was a hard fought game between both teams, but Novotel pulled out the win in the third period to win it 7-4.

The Rolling Stone Pizza Player of the Game went to Ken Kindborn for his two goals and two assist.

In our second game of the night we had KCG facing off against Siam Mandalay. KCG took and early lead and continued to stay strong all night to defeat Siam Mandalay 4-1.

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SHL starts 5th season at Samrong

Novotel’s Seb Verdy and Aware’s Jaren Folden fight for the puck.

Photography by Tadamasa Nagayama

The Siam Hockey League has switched venues, as its games for the 2020-2021 season will be played at the Imperial Samrong arena on Olympic-size ice. The opening night of the season on October 11 saw the defending champion Novotel Spitfires take on Aware in the first match while Mandalay played KCG in game two.

Novotel with only two players returning from their champion squad (captain Mike Freeson and Jason Bitter) came out of the gate on fire and jumped into an early 3-0 first-period lead. Aware stormed back, however, and at the end of two stanzas of play the score stood 4-3 in Novotel’s favour. In the third period, Novotel dug in and emerged with a 7-4 victory as Novotel’s Ken Kindborn, the captain of the Thai national team, led the way earning the Rolling Stone Pizzza player-of-the-game award with two goals and two assists. Captain Mike Freeson chipped in with a goal and two helpers, and Tomas Stastny, the son of long-time NHL star Anton Stastny, made his SHL debut for Novotel and scored on a nice goal living up to his early billing.

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Novotel captures first SHL title

Team captains & sponsors gather at center ice for ceremonial puck drop.

Novotel center Mike Freeson tallied five points, including two goals and three assists, as the Spitfires defeated PEAK Biolabs, 5-3, to capture the 2020 SHL Championship.

After a shaky run down the stretch in the regular season, Novotel won three straight games in the playoffs thanks to an offensive barrage from Freeson and lockdown goaltending from Yu Cheng Liao. Late in the first period of the championship with the score knotted 0-0, Novotel winger Jason Bitter dug the puck out of the offensive corner and fed Freeson in the slot. The centerman dished linemate Bill Bredesen, who put the wobbly puck top shelf over a sprawling Gabor Toth in goal for PEAK.

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Dom and Zack talk about the SHL Final

Dom and Zack talk about the SHL final game.

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Semifinal Games 2 and 3 with Dom and Zack

Dom and Zack talk about semifinal games 2 and 3 and what they expect from the final game.

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Peak advances to SHL final against Novotel

Peak’s Patrick Forstner advances on Aware D-man Adran Meyers.

In what has been arguably the most entertaining series in the history of the Sport Corner Siam Hockey League, Aware and Peak Biolabs played the decisive third and final game of their entertaining semi-final round series. The winner would earn the right to play Novotel Spitfires for the SHL Championship on Saturday, March 14.

Aware played without a few key players, including Andy Tse, injured in game two of the series. While Peak was still without captain Harrison Oztemel.

Peak got the jump on Aware early, when at the five-minute mark of the first period, Ryan Yaden found himself with the puck camped out in front of Aware goalie Dream, and Yaden made no mistake, getting his first goal of the playoffs. Less than a minute later, Peak doubled their lead when Patrick Forstner took a pass from Yaden and fired the puck passed Dream. Aware was able to buckle down on defense and the game became much more even the rest of the first period, and the period ended 2-0.

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Peak extends series as Novotel moves on

In game one on Thursday March 5th, Aware looked to close out their SHL semifinal series with Peak Biolabs. Aware was missing superstar Finnish defenseman Jari Eerikainen along with a few other key players, and looked to brush off these absences by playing the same playoff style, grinding hockey game that got them the win in the first game of the series.

The plan seemed to work from the start as the game began with a slower pace as both teams wanted to avoid going down 1-0. Peak was missing Thai National Team standout Patrick Forstner and sniper Harrison Oztemel, with the captain on the bench fully engaged by handling bench boss duties for the second straight playoff game. It t was quickly evident as the speed up front was lacking for the first few minutes of the contest.

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Novotel & Aware open with early playoff victories

Hertz’s Mike Wilson & Novotel’s Marcel Boewens battle it out.

The Novotel Spitfires scored just thirty seconds into their first-round matchup against Hertz and didn’t look back, winning the opener in the best-of-three series 5-2 and delivering a gut punch to top-seeded Hertz.

Novotel forward Bill Bredesen scored the early goal after Brad Wilson crashed into the offensive corner and forced a turnover. The puck bounced out to Jason Bitter in the slot and his shot redirected to Bredesen, who made an easy put-back into a wide-open net.

A few minutes later, Wilson again found himself active in the offensive zone, scoring on an acrobatic one-handed shot against Hertz netminder Lance Parker.

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