Sharks Topple Struggling Aces
March 12, Hong Kong - In a pivotal matchup Thursday evening in week 15 of CIHL play, the Scotiabank South China Sharks toppled the Manulife Macau Aces by a score of 7-3. The win vaults the Sharks into sole possession of second place with only 2 regular season games remaining. The Aces meanwhile, have lost 4 of their last 5 and risk missing playoffs, sitting just 1 point up on the Hong Kong Tycoons for the third and final playoff spot.
Sharks’ captain Jordan So willed his team to victory in Thursday night’s monumental clash in Kowloon Bay. So opened the scoring just 55 seconds into the first when the Aces failed to clear the puck out of their zone. Hong Kong National Team defenceman Ryan Wong chipped it to So, who walked in and went backhand on Horrance Cheung, who was dressing in his second consecutive game for the Aces. Macau got one back three minutes later when Whitney Olsen stepped up into the play, looking like a spry college player. Olsen put the Sharks’ defencemen on their heels before making a sublime drop pass to rookie stand-out Spencer Cameron in the slot, who buried the shot glove side. A couple minutes later, the Aces broke out of their own zone onto an odd-manned rush and local product Yi Yam elected to shoot, beating the top shelf blocker side on Sharks’ net-minder King Ho. That lead was short lived however, as So stepped up and buried two more goals of his own in the period, both assisted by Jasper Tang to give the Sharks a 3-2 lead heading into the first intermission.
All the motivational speeches proved to be ineffective for the Aces as their hopes of a comeback in the third was quashed quickly as Sharks scored three consecutive goals put the game out of reach.
There will be a three week hiatus in CIHL play due to scheduled renovations at Mega Ice. This is a welcome break for the Aces who have some soul searching to do in order to get this season back on track. They will face the first place Kowloon Warriors in April while the Sharks will do battle with the scrappy Hong Kong Tycoons.