In the first round of the China Ice Hockey League (CIHL) best-of-three playoffs, the season’s worst performed team, Kowloon Warriors, continued their improving form to shock the season’s best performed team, Macau Aces. Meanwhile, South China Sharks showed consistency in defeating Hong Kong Tycoons.
Aces vs Warriors
In Period-1 of the first match of the evening between Macau Aces and Kowloon Warriors both teams seemed to start cautiously and it was not until later in the Period that the deadlock was broken, if only for a brief time—Aces scored with a strike by Christian Long in the 9th minute; but, Warriors hit back two minutes later with a goal by Kory Falite to make the score 1-all.
Sparks started to fly in the second stanza and although Alvin Sham put the Aces in the lead in the first 30 seconds, it was the Warriors who pulled out a big 6-2 lead – with strikes by Gregory Smyth, Devin Welsh, Michael Yoshino, Andy Ramsay and a second for Falite. Towards the end of Period-2, Aces Jeff Griffin was side-lined for 10 minutes for misconduct.
Period-3 became even rougher with seven sin-bin offences—five by Warriors and two by Aces. Welsh was off the ice for the second half of the period for misconduct, but Warriors maintained good defence and scored their seventh goal late in the session for an impressive 7-2 win.
Sharks vs Tycoons
The second match of the evening—between South China Sharks and Hong Kong Tycoons—was tight with scores tied 2-all entering the final Period.
Tycoons were ahead 1-nil at the end of Preiod-1 with Andrew Alari scoring the first goal of the game. Sharks hit back with a brace from Jordan So mid-way through the second session, but Jeffrey Shui equalised for the Tycoons late in the period to level the game at 2-all.
Although Adam Maglio and Tip Fleming scored for the Tycoons in Period-3, it was the Sharks that stole the show with scores by Craig Falite, Julien Jorand and a further three by So to bring the final result for a Sharks 7-4 win.