2015-2016 Principal Standard League Regular Season Wrap Up
After thirty barn burning games, the 2015-’16 Principal Standard League regular season has come to an end with the standings and playoff seeding which was determined by the outcome of that final game. This season was full of high scoring games and showcased the skill level and talent of Hong Kong hockey.
This year’s Standard League teams were more competitive compared to previous seasons which made it difficult to predict the winner of each game. A mix of young talent, current and former men’s Hong Kong national team players, foreigners who have overseas playing experience and local players who know the in’s and out’s of hockey here in Hong Kong added other elements to this season and the difference in playing style gave each team their own identity and strengths making every game a coin toss.
HKAHC (1st seed)
The most consistent team this season, HKAHC led by team GM Mike Lam, was dangerous up front on offense with power forward Leo Kan who was part of the 2014-’15 championship team with Winner Medical and a defensive core which consisted of veteran defender Rob Chiu, who contributed to the offense with 21 points, and the smooth skating Donald Chow made it difficult for opponents to defend. The last line of defense for this team in Drew Peterson, who was Standard Leagues best goaltender last season, surely gave his players the confident to take chances up front and push forwards. This team has the ability to play a solid, full sixty minute game and this will be their mentality heading into their playoff game against team Principal. An overall well rounded team; coach Anqi Tan will look to the team’s stability and depth to continue their success into the post season.
Winner Medical Kings (2nd seed)
The defending champions Kings were led by defensemen Ryan Wong and the high energy center man, Hayes To, who combined for a total of 70 points. These two played alongside a strong supporting cast who contributed to this comeback team who lost five of their first six games of the season and were able to finish the season in 2nd place. Creative winger Justin Kuok helped generate chances in the offensive zone and the physical play of defenseman Ashley Chow set a tone for their opponents every game. Despite a rough start to the season, the King’s strong second half and end to the season will help build their confidence heading into the semi-final game against Verity. The King’s are confident in their two netminders, Sam Wong and Jerome who finished second and third amongst all goaltenders in goals against average. Coach Robert Kang will look to every player on the team to play a significant role in the post season.
Verity (3rd seed)
With a strong veteran core led by GM Art Tam and defenseman Fuk Hing So, this Verity team has the ability to blow out any team. Season MVP last season, Jasper Tang, had another MVP showing this year averaging 5.5 points per game and finished with 60 points in only 11 games. This high powered offensive team scored the most goals out of all teams and their physicality will be tough to match for their opponents in the playoffs. Goaltending tandem in Anthony Devolz and Horrance Cheung get better with the more shots the face and once they catch fire they will be tough to beat. Player/coach Norm Chin has earned the respect from his teammates and the rest of the league and will use his experience to help his team have a strong playoff run.
Principal (4th seed)
With a few returning players from last year’s team, team Principal improved their lineup by adding 16 new faces to the roster all of whom are under 18 years old. These young players brought skill, energy, high intensity and excitement to the league and made this Principal team a more competitive team than last season’s. Despite the loss of role player, Lennon Au Yeung due to injury, the depth of this team was able to experience success throughout the season. Talented rookie forwards, Cosney Lee (15 G, 26 A) and Jeffrey Tsaw (18 G, 10 A) proved to be a threat for their opponents and the stable defense of Jerry Cheung quarterbacked this quick paced team from the back. Head coach Barry Beck will rely on the team’s speed to generate goal scoring opportunities this post season and his goaltenders Joshua Ho and Jonathan Han have both proven themselves to be the go to guy in between the pipes so we will have to see who coach Beck chooses to start in their first playoff game when they face-off against number one seed, HKAHC.
2015-2016 Principal Standard League Playoff Schedule