Tycoons Win Sixth Straight Game
June 3rd, 2021
Once again fielding a roster full of talented youth players as part of the end-of-season support for local player development, the Scotiabank South China Sharks were heavily outmatched by a veteran HKBN Hong Kong Tycoons squad poised to make a deep post-season run. Following the Sharks elimination from playoff contention, the team has featured multiple U16 players weekly. In Thursday night’s game, U16 Sammy Wong registered his first career goal for the Sharks, with an assist to fellow U16 Owen Kwok. As usual, the Tycoons were paced by league-leading scorer Nicholas Weberg, who recorded 3 goals and 3 assists in the 11-5 win. Kosuke Ikeda contributed 4 assists in the loss, while U18 Michael Shum and defenseman Eric Molander each netted 2 goals for the Sharks.
Molander kicked off the scoring in the first period, after capitalizing on a rebound following an Ikeda shot from the slot to give the Sharks their only lead of the evening. The lead was short-lived, as only 18 seconds later Jonas Mak tied the game for the Tycoons on a beautiful low glove-side shot. Weberg would get his night started at 5:27 into the period, by dishing a cross-zone pass to a wide-open Jimi Fanstone to put the Tycoons ahead by 1. U18 Michael Shum buried his first of the night to tie the game at 2 with under two minutes remaining in the period. The lone assist would be credited to Ikeda once again. To close out the period, Elliot Steele broke a 2-2 tie, and put the Tycoons ahead for good after burying a backdoor feed.
With the second period underway, Kenden Ng added to the Tycoons lead after picking up a loose rebound in front. Fanstone and Weberg received assists on the play. Weberg then got into the goal column to build the Tycoons lead to 5-2 following a wraparound marker. Molander temporarily stopped the bleeding for the Sharks by cutting the deficit to 5-3 after ripping a shot high to the glove side. Ikeda picked up his third assist of the night in as many Sharks goals. Before the period closed, however, Weberg would again find the back of the net for the Tycoons. The period would end with the Tycoons leading the Sharks 6-3.
Needing a third period spark to get back into the game, Michael Shum provided just that for the Sharks, a mere 37 seconds after puck drop. The Shum tally, his second of the night, would bring the Sharks within 2. Ikeda, again, was credited with an assist, alongside defenseman Ryan Lee. Any hope for a Sharks comeback victory, however, was only wishful thinking, as the Tycoons rattled off 4 consecutive goals in a span of 7 minutes to extend their lead to 10-4. In on the goal spree for the Tycoons were Fanstone, Ng, Matthew Nuttall, and Aaron Liu.
With under five minutes to play, the highlight of the night came when Owen Kwok connected with fellow U16 Sammy Wong, who accelerated for a breakaway. The gifted Sharks forward faked a shot, before deking to the backhand and scoring the first goal of his young career. Weberg then completed his hat trick for the Tycoons to close out the game, with the final score reading 11-5.
Emerson Keung made 21 saves in the routine victory, while King Ho faced 39 shots at the other end. The Tycoons, winners of six straight, are idle this week with a bye. The Sharks face off against the world-beater Manulife Macau Aces in the penultimate regular season game for both clubs this week. The Aces, undefeated against the Sharks this season, can clinch a first-round playoff bye with a win, and begin booking their ferry tickets to Discovery Bay for the CIHL Championship game on Saturday, July 3rd. The Tycoons still have an outside chance at claiming the regular season title, sitting 3 points behind the Aces with two games remaining - the last of which could be a Championship preview against the Aces.
3 Stars of the Game:
1. Tycoons - Nicholas Weberg: 3G + 3A
2. Sharks - Michael Shum: 2G + 1A
3. Tycoons - Elliot Steele: 1G + 1A