Each team was set to play 4 games in 2 days which was quite a test of endurance since all the opponents would have fresh legs only playing one game. The schedule for the U15 team began with the Tigershark "B" squad who were outmatched early resulting in a 5-0 win for our Thunderbird team.
The second game saw us take on the Dragons. A more aggressive and skilled team which overwhelmed our defense early in the game netting 2 goals in the first 5 minutes. Dragons smelling a easy victory got surprised in the second period as the Thunderbirds came back from the first intermission with renewed purpose. The result was a goal to put the Thunderbirds back in the game. Both sides went hard at it over the remaining two periods exchanging shots on net and scoring chances until the Dragons netted their 3 goal putting the game out of reach for our Team.
The loss was a good lesson for our team. Letting the easy win of the first game effect your style of play in the next game, even for a short time, can cost you the game. Determined not to repeat this mistake the team entered the arena on the second day focused on the task at hand.
The third game did not disappoint. The Posun Hockey School provided a very worthy opponent. A tough, fast and skilled team, Posun presented a big challenge right from the first face off. The Thunderbirds new gave up, they fought off the aggressive attacks in the corners, did their best to command the centre of the ice and came from behind to win 5-4. This win was a fine example of how hard work can conquer all when it comes to hockey.
The fourth game was the biggest challenge not only because of a good opponent, but also because we had a tough game early in the day, and we were now facing a fresh team in their only game of the day. The TIgershark "A" Team was another skilled team with lots of speed but once again our Thunderbirds were up to the challenge. Using solid team play combined with solid passing our team fought off the wave-like attack of the Tigersharks. Going ahead 4-2 with 5 minutes left in the 3rd the Tigersharks came at us with everything they had. Scoring to make it 4-3 late in the third, the intensity and excitement increased. The Thunderbirds hung on. Even on a penalty kill with the Tigershark goalie out of the net to make it 6 on 4, we hung on to claim a well earned victory.
It was a great weekend of hockey for the U15 squad. Our hosts Mr. Kim and Zenith Rink could not have been better. A great facility!! This is the Thunderbirds 3rd year with Seoul as a stop on our hockey season. With hockey of this calibre to offer, it will continue to be a very important place to play in the future.
Thank you to Mr. Kim and all those in Korea that helped make this weekend so special for our team. We look forward to the opportunity to host Korean teams at our rink here in Shanghai.