Sharks and Warriors to battle in CIHL Final
Saturday's game marks the third time that the two teams have met in the CIHL Final - two years ago, the Warriors earned the right to hoist the RBC Asia Cup, while last year, it was the Sharks' turn. This season, both teams have overcome challenges to make it into the single game final and will no doubt be looking for an opportunity to make CIHL history as the first team to win two championships.
The Sharks and the Warriors will compete for the 2013-2014 RBC Asia Cup, named after CIHL founding league sponsor Royal Bank of Canada (RBC). Hong Kong's first elite full-contact ice hockey league has gone from strength to strength over the past three seasons and with both teams on a week's break heading into the final, they will be fresh and ready for what is expected to be the league's most thrilling final yet.
The Warriors were the first to cement their place in Saturday's final. Following a tough start to the season, the Warriors found their stride at just the right time and entered the playoffs fourth in the regular-season standings but on an all-important five-game win streak. In their best-of-three semi-final series against the top ranked Galaxy Macau Aces, the Warriors extended that win streak to seven games, with dominating 7-2 and 9-3 victories over the Aces to sweep the semi-finals and give themselves an opportunity to score a lucky eighth straight win.
As the league's second-ranked team going into the semi-finals, the Sharks were paired against the Quam Hong Kong Tycoons. The Sharks drew first blood with a 7-4 victory over the Tycoons, before they too swept their semi-final series with a 5-2 win in Game 2.
With both teams very familiar with one another, the game is expected to be all the more intense. The expected sell-out will include members of Hong Kong's growing ice hockey community, the next generation of Hong Kong hockey players and, as part of the RBC Adopt a School program, lucky students who will get to take part in the game.
"It's been an incredibly competitive and exciting CIHL season and it all comes down to Saturday's final," CIHL co-founder and director Greg Smyth said. "Both teams make for formidable opponents and as history has shown us, the game is sure to be fast and action-packed. I encourage hockey fans in Hong Kong to come out to the final game of the season as the Warriors and the Sharks compete for the RBC Asia Cup."
Join Hong Kong hockey fans for the CIHL final this Saturday, March 22 at Mega Ice, 10/F Megabox, Kowloon Bay. The puck drops at 8:15 p.m. For tickets, please contact Devin at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the CIHL
The CIHL is Hong Kong, Macau and Southern China's first elite contact ice hockey league. Founded in 2010, the CIHL provides high-level, entertaining hockey, while working to develop future generations of Chinese hockey players.
The Royal Bank of Canada is the official league sponsor for the 2013-2014 CIHL season. This year, the league will feature four teams: the Quam Hong Kong Tycoons, AsiaXPAT Kowloon Warriors, Galaxy Macau Aces and South China Sharks.
Saturday nights from October 5, 2013 through March 22, 2014, the teams will face off at Mega Ice for two back-to-back games. Family entertainment, community events and on-ice kids' competitions are aimed at making Saturdays a true "Hockey Night in Hong Kong". The official website of the CIHL is www.cihl.com and a free iPhone app is available through the iTunes store.
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