Tag: championship

2019-2020 SHL Champions

We had a change up in captains this year. We lost Patrik Lundback as the captain of Aware. Aware’s front office requested a trade of Justin St-Denis in the hopes of finally bringing the SHL Cup home. We also had Mike Wilson step down from being a captain. Stepping up, we had Harrison Oztemel becoming captain for the new team PEAK Biolabs, and Jordan Ashton becoming the captain for Hertz with Brad Wilson staying with the Novotel Spitfires.

For the first half of the season, Aware was doing the complete opposite of what they did last season, losing 7 of their first 9 games, but they continued to fight and won 5 more games, but this left them in last place of the season. Could captain, Justin St-Denis, pull off another upset to give himself a threepeat?

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2018-2019 SHL Champions

We had a whirl wind of a year this year. Captain, Patrik Lundback, led Team Aware to a 10 game win streak to start off the season, finally losing to TRUE on January 20, 2019.

At the end of the regular season, Aware topped the pack with 30 points. The closest team were the Novotel Spitfires with 20 points.

Captain, Brad Wilson, led the Novotel Spitfires had a 5-4 record going into the Christmas break, and finished off the regular season with 20 points.

Mike Wilson’s TRUE team started off rough, losing their first 10 games of the season, finally beating Hertz on the January 13 and they finished off the season with 15 points.

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Hertz upsets AWARE to capture SHL title

Sport Corner’s Steve Lavender (centre) drops the puck for the ceremonial faceoff between Hertz’s captain Justin St. Denis & AWARE’s captain Patrik Lundback.

In a stunning upset, Hertz, who won only a third of their regular-season games defeated top-seeded AWARE 5-3 in dramatic fashion to take the one-game winner-take-all Sport Corner SHL 2017-18 championship final.

The final game, held at The Rink, 7th floor, Grand Central Rama IX, on Saturday March 17th was a classic from start to finish. Hertz jumped out to a 4-0 first period lead on two goals by Mike Triacca and singles by Bill Bredesen and Andy Brine. Hertz stretched that to 5-0 lead on a goal by captain Justin St Denis in the second period, before AWARE mounted its comeback cutting the lead to 5-3 on two goals by Mangkorn Sukwiboon and a single by Corry Day.

Hertz’s goalkeeper Lance Parker stood on his head and was named the Sport Corner Playoff MVP. Lance, who had struggled early in the season, put on one of the most outstanding goaltending displays ever seen in Thai hockey, turning in the “clutch” performance of his life, stopping 44 of the 47 shots fired his way, while Hertz fired 18 shots at opposing AWARE keeper Patrick Leduc.

AWARE, who at one point during the season had an eleven-game winning streak, dominated most of their opponents, earning a 14-4 regular season record. Hertz, with a 6-12 regular-season record, snuck into third place on the final day of the regular season. Both teams swept their best of three semi-final series 2-0 with AWARE defeating Expedia (last year’s SHL champion) and Hertz beating the Sukhumvit Spitfires, who with an 11-6-1 record, winning almost twice as many regular-season games as Hertz did.

AWARE played and moved the puck well in the final game. But it just wasn’t meant to be; they hit a few posts and couldn’t finish like they usually do. But give this squad tremendous credit, led by captain Patrik Lundback they were virtually untouchable all year long. It will be a long summer for these players, many of whom had already added the SHL championship to their resume.

SHL individual point leader Andy Brine had a whale of a game for Hertz; not only did he manage to win the scoring and league championship, but drawing three penalties in the final game, he managed to get himself ejected. Not quite a Gordie Howe hat-trick, but close.

The stands were full, and even when the score was 5-0 the action was end-to-end with AWARE throwing everything but the kitchen sink at Parker, trying to sneak one past him. Sport Corner’s Steve Lavender was on hand to present the playoff MVP to Parker and SHL president John Schachnovsky handed out the SHL Championship trophy to Hertz’s captain Justin St. Denis. The referees, Jeremy Hutchins and Sakchai “Jeb” Chinanuvatana, did a great job of maintaining control.

Photography by Tadamasa Nagayama

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