The SCIHL opened their 5th season since it was reintroduced at Elements shopping mall in West Kowloon. Opening night was well attended, and the opening puck drop featured special guests Greg Smyth (Co-Founder of the China Hockey Group), Lowie Edjan (Telford International, Sapporo distributer), Art Tam (SCIHL Commissioner) and Jeff Nankivell (Consol General of Canada for Hong Kong and Macao).
Spectators were treated to an opening night full of action as Sapporo crushed CHG in the first game 8-2 led by league newcomers Yam Yau and Francois Esterhuizen, who put up big nights for Sapporo. It was however stand-in captain Justin Kuok that stole the show (sore back and all), registering 7 points on Sapporo’s 8 goals against his former GM Allan Yee, clearly showing he had something to prove against his former team.
The following game saw league favourite Sam Wai Raptors defeat InetAsia 4-2 in a tight contest. Defenseman Gene Cheh justified his first round selection with a first star performance. This game had significance in that it featured many of the SCIHL stars from the good old Dragon Centre days. Niels “Hollywood” Bakker, Shane Weir and Paul Luciw made highly anticipated returns to the league, and Bruce Hicks, Grant Phillips, Gene Cheh, Jim Wong and Keith Fong rounded up the reunion; all that was missing was an appearance by Tom Barnes!
The last game saw a huge comeback from Bravo and league superstar Michael Yoshino as they stormed back from a 3 goal deficit to salvage a point against Jackie Chan’s (no not that Jackie Chan) Rula Live team. Rula Live managed to finally secure the 2 points in the shootout though, Justin Wong with the fancy shootout goal to get his team off to a winning start.
A great opening night filled with laughs and a few drinks (including a fancy new Gatorade sponsorship). Big thanks to everyone that attended to make it so memorable.
The SCIHL would like to thank all the sponsors, players, staff and supporters for their continued support of the league. The SCIHL community is a great example of how fun and exciting hockey can be in Hong Kong. For further information please visit the league website www.SCIHL.com