With only one more round to play, South China Sharks beat league leaders Macau Aces in the CIHL at Mega Ice on Saturday Feb 8 to secure second place in the league.
Meanwhile Kowloon Warriors thrashed Hong Kong Tycoons to give them a slim chance of avoiding the wooden spoon–they play Aces in their last game before the finals series.
Sharks vs Aces
In a low scoring match, South China Sharks just had the edge over the Macau Aces.
Sharks Jordan So scored in both of the first two periods to push them into a 2-nil lead.
But Aces came out with renewed determination in the final action-packed session.
Andy Brine scored for the Aces early in the period to cut the lead to 2-1, but Jordan So converted his hat-trick to regain Sharks’ two goal advantage.
But the Aces pushed hard and were rewarded with a goal by Christian Long to again cut the deficit to one goal with three minutes left on the clock.
Frantic efforts were repelled by the Sharks’ defense and Hayes To capped off a good win with just a three seconds remaining to make the final score 4-2.
Warriors vs Tycoons
The match between Kowloon Warriors and Hong Kong Tycoons, played earlier in the evening, a mostly one-sided affair with the Warriors still trying to get off the bottom rung of the ladder.
Despite a goal by Jacob Trost for Tycoons mid way through the first stanza, Eric McKenna, Devin Welsh, Art Tam and Gregory Smyth all scored for the Warriors giving them a 4-1 lead.
In period-2 it was more of the same. Two goals went to Kory Falite of the Warriors and his team-mate Smyth got his second. Tycoons Brennan Sonne scored twice to keep the score-line in check at 7-3.
Warriors had a heyday in the final session with four more goals – McKenna and Smyth added one goal each and Falite two, to take his goal tally for the match to four. Adam Maglio got a final consolation goal for Tycoons for a final score of 11-4.
Falite, Smyth and McKenna picked up 3-Star awards.
With just one round remaining before the finals and 2-points the maximum available from winning a game, the unassailable season leaders Macau Aces are on 20 points, South China Sharks 16, Hong Kong Tycoons 13 and Kowloon Warriors 12.
It will take a Herculean effort for the Warriors to defeat the Aces, but even that won’t guarantee that they will avoid the ignominious wooden spoon should Tycoons win.