Pre-season favourite Aware lost its luster early on when two of its top forwards were lost: Corry Day to injury and Oleg Kabakov to suspension. The league’s fourth squad, Siam Mandalay, has had a rough go it, winning only one game to date.
A third of the way through the season, KCG’s Jan Isaksson leads the league in scoring with 14 points, followed by Aware’s Kim Aarola and KCG teammate Nick Lampson with 12 points. Interestingly, all three players are luk-kruengs, mixed Thai and foreign background.
Fourth and fifth place in the scoring race belong to Mike Freeson & Tomas Stastny of Siam Mandalay. These two players are not used to losing, indeed in the last COVID-cut short SHL season their team, the Novotel Spitfires, dominated the league. Alas, with a new season and a new draft the squad lost its two best defensemen Ken Kindborn to Lexicon & Christoph Anliker to KCG and they haven’t recovered.
Stastny comes from Slovakia’s most celebrated hockey family as he is the son and nephew of former NHL stars Anton and Peter Stastny, and his cousin Paul is currently playing for the Carolina Hurricanes.
An early candidate for the SHL’s rookie-of-the-year award is KCG’s keeper Dominik Vollenweider who leads the league in saves and save percentage. His play has been phenomenal at times, causing opposition players to wonder “who is this guy” after he has foiled scoring chance after scoring chance.
SHL games take place at the Thailand International Ice Hockey Arena on Soi 19, Rama 9 Road from 8:30pm onwards on Sunday nights. You can get league updates by listening to Dom Dumais’ podcasts, sponsored by the BigChilli magazine at: www.siamhockeyleague.com.
The games are also televised on www.thailandTV.tv and produced by Keith Mueller. The SHL would also like to thank Zack Block for his excellent work as both a podcaster and play-by-play announcer over the last few years. Zack is returning to his home in Louisiana where hopefully he will find some games to broadcast in the Bayou.