22nd January 2017
HKAHC Regular Division
Bears Goalscorers: Ray Li, Adrian Wong, Jim Liu
22nd January 2017
This was the second straight meeting between Wildcats and Bears, with the Bears emerging victorious a fortnight ago. Both teams started off slow on offense; the Wildcats played safely to avoid a second consecutive loss, while the Bears adopted a conservative approach to maintain their win streak.
However, the game took a dramatic turn 10 minutes into the game when Bear’s captain Adrian and Wildcats' Ringo were involved in an altercation in the Bears’ zone, after Adrian pushed Ringo out of the slot area.
The two proceeded to trade swings and drew 2 mins apiece for slashing.
On the bright side, it seemed to be the much-needed catalyst to spark the game into life and both teams attacked the opposing zones with heightened intensity. Perhaps too recklessly on hindsight, as when the Bears committed too many players on one possession and Carson Ho took advantage of the Bears’ mistake by scoring a breakaway on goalie Andy’s glove side under three minutes from the end of the period.
The Bears struck back after a minute of the play, with Jim Liu scoring on a great hustle play when he carried the puck coast to coast and took a speculative shot at Wildcats’ goalie Bengy’s chest, which somehow evaded him and buried itself in the net for a 1-1 scoreline.
In the 2nd period, both teams picked up where they left off, with spectators treated to fast-paced, end-to-end action. Both teams played excellent defense in the opening exchanges, each preventing the other from creating clear-cut chances and snuffing out any attempts on goal.
The Bears soon bucked the trend 5 minutes into the 2nd period through a play that started with the Wildcats shooting the puck wide of the net, which passed by everyone including their own defense at the blue line but landed perfectly at the stick of Bears forward Ray Li. Li immediately sprung into action and placed the puck through the legs of Bengy to make it 2 – 1 for the Bears in style.
Counter-attacking once again proved to be a reliable source of goals for the Bears. The Wildcats took a shot at Andy and after the initial save, Bears’ Uncle Wing picked up the rebound and chipped the puck to Andrew. Andrew in turn fed a great outlet pass to Bears’ captain Adrian for a 2 on 1 break, where he kept the puck (and his composure!) and smashed it over the trapper of Bengy into the top corner to make it 3–1 with 6 minutes to go in the period.
A minute later, Jim conceded a tripping penalty and sent the Wildcats on a power play. There was an element of luck in their goal given it was deflected off Bears’ defenseman Willian into his own goal for a 3-2 scoreline, with the full-time whistle approaching.
With 2 minutes left in the 2nd period, Wildcats went for broke and sent Bengy to the bench for extra attacker as they piled pressure on the Bears with one final charge.
As a result, there was to be one final twist in the tale when goalie Andy impeded a Wildcats’ player with his trapper for an interference call in the final minute.
Fortunately, the Wildcats failed to capitalize on their last minute power play and the Bear Fighters held on for a second win over their opponents, giving them something to build on in the games to come.
“It was a calculated risk- my teammates were lost and chasing the puck instead of playing zone defense," explained Andy Mak when asked about his late foul.
"Also because the score was 3 – 2 (sic), if we clear and ice the puck, the game clock will stop and we cannot change lines, which would have added more pressure on my defense group. I desperately needed a stoppage and a wakeup call for my defense to regroup."
5th February 2017
Bear Fighters vs Zerve Spartans