The 2nd Annual CanCham HCMC Ice Hockey Challenge Cup between challenger Hockey Hanoi & our beloved boys in black, Saigon Heart of Darkness, over the May Day weekend, was a stunning success.
Games 1 & 2 on Friday, were dominated by the Hanoi side defeating the Saigon 7 – 5 and 3 - 2.
In both games, Saigon came out early and took leads, but Hanoi fought back with grit and determination, as the packed rinks crowds Oohed and awed at the display of talent from both sides.
With their backs against the wall, needing two straight victories on Saturday, the Saigon Heart of Darkness came out flying.
Game 3 was a very chippy and rough affair with players from each side being suspended for “Goonery” A back and forth battle, Saigon finally pulled out a truculent come from behind 6-5 victory.
Game 4, with The Heart of Darkness needing another victory, the contest see-sawed back and forth. After an early 3-1 lead for Hanoi, Saigon stormed back with 4 unanswered goals to take a commanding lead 5-3 with 3 minutes remaining. Hanoi Hockey swarmed the Saigon net, but 13 year old Saigon goalie Sebastian Olafsson, stoned the plucky Hanoians shot after shot, in a “Hasekian” display of stand on your head goaltending. The Final score was 5-3 for The Saigon Heart of Darkness.
Overtime: With the teams tied 2 games each, a 5 minute sudden death overtime period was played. Hanoi continued to pressure the Saigon net, and with 2 minutes remaining, Hanoi Captain, Ryan Brannen swooped in from the slot and scored the tournaments winning goal. The smaller Hanoi fan contingent erupted in euphoria for the Cup winning goal, while the larger Saigon fan base applauding their fallen Hockey heroes for a hard-fought series.
Hanoi takes the CanCham Hockey Challenge Cup back to Hanoi, with the next tournament slated for later this year in Hanoi.
Tournament MVP’s were Saigon goalie Sebastian Olafsson, for his outstanding day two play, while Hanoi Captain Ryan Brennan, wins tourney MVP for his overtime heroics for Hockey Hanoi.
Cancham Hockey would like to thank the estimated 300 plus fans who joined the fun over the weekend and Heart of Darkness Saigon Brewery for their amazing sponsorship and continued support.
He shoots He scores - The Commiss Ralf@hockeyshopvietnam.com