Heavy wins for Hong Kong Tycoons over South China Sharks and Kowloon Warriors over Macau Aces in the final round of the China Ice Hockey League matches at Mega Ice on Saturday (Feb 15) meant that there was no change to the final league standings order.
Coming into the final evening of fixtured matches the Aces were already clear at the top of the standings with the Sharks secure in second. Only the Tycoons and Warriors could trade places.
There may have been an added incentive for the third-placed Tycoons to win to ensure that they meet the second-placed Sharks in the playoffs, rather than the Aces. But, after the Tycoons had won the first match of the evening, the final standings order was decided as the Warriors could not move off the bottom slot.
In high-scoring thrashings, Tycoons beat the Sharks 10-4 and Warriors beat the Aces 10-1. Although there was plenty of exciting play, it seems plausible that the Sharks and Aces were saving themselves for the playoffs.
This leaves the pairings for the best-of-three playoff matches (beginning Mar 1) as Macau Aces against Warriors and South China Sharks against Tycoons. Following the playoffs, there will be a Final featuring the best-of-three winners.
A hat-trick of goals for Bennan Sonne, two each for Drew Barton and Adam Maglio, plus one from Andrew Alari, Jacob Trost and Tim Kobler gave the Tycoons their winning total. The Sharks’ scorers were Anthony Devolz, Julien Jorand and a brace from Jordan So.
In the Warriors match against league leaders Macau Aces they were 7 goals to the good before the Aces got on the score-sheet. The six scorers for Warriors included 3-Star award winners Bryan Crane (4 goals) and Devin Welsh (2 goals and 5-assists). Gregory Smyth missed out on goals in this match, but had 3-assists to earn him the other 3-Star award.
The final league standings: Macau Aces 20, South China Sharks 16, Hong Kong Tycoons 15 and Kowloon Warriors 14.