Aces Sink Their Teeth While Alyssa Ho Makes History for Sharks
May 27th, 2021
The year cannot end quickly enough for the Scotiabank South China Sharks as they lost their eighth straight game and eleventh of the season to the first place Manulife Macau Aces by a score of 9-3. Playing with a 'Youth Squad' as eliminated from post season play, the Sharks had seven U16 players in the line-up as part of the League's end of season support for local player development and mentorship. Alyssa Ho, playing in her first ever CIHL game, scored her first goal late in the third. U18 star Michael Shum had the other two goals for the Sharks. The Aces inched closer to grabbing first place in the CIHL standings and an automatic birth to the finals - their magic number is down to one. Whitney Olsen had a hat trick in the second period - his 4th hat trick in his last 5 games. Aces U18's Elvis Hsu and Ryan Chu both had strong nights, Hsu had 4 assists while Chu had two goals.
The Sharks, displaying youthful energy, jumped out to a 2-0 lead early in the contest. U18 Michael Shum, an elder statesman for the Sharks on the night, scored both first period goals. The second, assisted by Ryan Lee, was a beautiful top-shelf backhand shot that beat Aces goaltender Liam Moorfield-Yee. Lokel Wong managed to get the Aces on the board before the period came to a close, after receiving a zone-entry pass and burying a shot-side shot on Sharks netminder Boyce Wong. The goal would be the final in the opening period, with the young Sharks clinging to a 2-1 lead.
League-leading goal scorer Whitney Olsen put the Aces ahead for good after completing a natural hat trick - three consecutive goals - to start the second period. CIHL all-time leader in goaltender points Liam Moorfield-Yee picked up a second assist on Olsen's first tally, after playing the puck up to Tom Allen, who then head manned to Olsen. Jesse Lussier, current league assist leader, closed out the second period scoring to make the score 5-2, with assists going to Chu and Allen. The second period ended after the four consecutive Aces goals.
The final period began the way the previous period ended - with four consecutive Aces goals. Tom Allen kicked off the third period scoring just a minute and a half in, before Ryan Chu scored back-to-back goals to make the score 8-2. Chu's goals were his first two as a member of the Macau Aces, after being dealt from the Sharks to the contenders ahead of the trade deadline. Rugged forward Tom Allen then scored his second goal of the evening to finish the scoring for the Aces. With under 3 minutes to play and the score 9-2, Alyssa Ho, making her CIHL debut, scored on a well-placed shot to cap off a historic night. Ho became the just the third female to ever suit up in the CIHL, and the first to score a goal since Michelle Chee in the 2011-2012 season. Chee was a four-year star varsity player at Trinity College, scoring 41 career goals and captaining her team as a senior. Ho's strong play earned her third star-of-the-night honors, and she became the youngest female to record a goal in CIHL history.
Liam Moorfield-Yee picked up his league leading 9th win of the season, making 21 saves. Boyce Wong in his Sharks debut turned away 32 shots. The Aces can clinch the league regular season crown in their next game against the Sharks, but will need to wait out their upcoming bye week to do so. The Sharks will play their penultimate game this Thursday against the AsiaXPAT Kowloon Warriors before their season finale against the Aces on June 3rd.
3 Stars of the Game:
1. Aces - Whitney Olsen: 3G + 2A
2. Aces - Elvis Hsu: 4A
3. Sharks - Alyssa Ho: 1G