The Christmas break is upon us and we hope you, the players, sponsors and your loved ones have been enjoying the festive season. The SCIHL is now in the midst of its holiday break, where there have been no games since December 9th. Everyone is looking forward to the return of the league on the 13th of January, but until then we have a little mid-season summary to tide you over.
It’s a tight race at the top of the table where Lucky Dawgs (10 points), Hong Win (9 points) and surprise package Bravo (8 points), are separated by 2 points at the top. Lucky Dawgs have been good with their all-round depth, but Gabe Fairbrother and Justin Kuok have been their standout performers so far. Last year’s finalists Hong Win are led by the usual suspects in Lightbound, Klotz, Jackie Chan and Jim Wong, who have picked up right where they left off last season. The unfortunate news for Hong Win is that they will have to do without star goaltender Grant Phillips for the near future, as he broke his collarbone making a dramatic save in a game against Sapporo. Bravo are sitting pretty in third spot but will have to overcome the loss of league assist leader Tony Champion, who could miss the rest of the season with a shoulder injury. Francis Lam will carry the burden of the scoring from now on, and has shown thus far to be more than capable with a league leading 13 goals in 7 games.
Fighting it out for the final playoff spot are Pacific Media Group (6 points), Sapporo (6 points) and Sam Wai (4 points). All three teams have been inconsistent thus far, but the big surprise is early favourites Sam Wai really struggling for form despite league points leader Mike Yoshino racking up the numbers (20 points in 5 games). PMG have struggled on the scoresheet with a league low 18 goals, but with regular scorers Gene Cheh and Don Ho on the team, they will look to turn things around in the new year. Defending champions Sapporo have also been hit or miss so far, with some really good results to go with some really bad ones. They have relied heavily on goaltender Kevin Rushton to keep them in games, and will hope the star netminder will have less shots to deal with in the new year. The league wide injury bug has also hit Sapporo grinder Wilson Wong, who will also miss the rest of the season with a serious back injury.
It looks to be an exciting new year for the SCIHL, with everyone still in the playoff race and some underachieving teams that will look to bounce back in the second half of the season. Hopefully, there is no more bad news on the injury front, and we wish all the teams and players good luck for the remainder of the season. For full standings and statistics, please visit www.SCIHL.com or download the SCIHL app.