The Black Bears won a tough Taipei Ice Hockey League encounter with the Leopard Cats 4-1 on Friday night at the Ice Land rink in Taipei amid some heated play, with seemingly more players in the net than pucks and a constant stream of players to the penalty box.
The Cats scored the only goal of the opening period through Third Star Stanislav Kutsel, but were shut out for the remainder of the contest, though not for a lack of opportunities.
However, there were chances taken at the other end. Playing one short, goaltender Luca D’Arsie survived three quick-fire chances, a sequence terminated when he blocked a shot and then grabbed the deflection. Despite his efforts the next sequence saw the equalizer, as First Star Steven Clark muscled the puck away from an opponent and, as he hit traffic, shot past D’Arsie.
The Bears went ahead later in the second period when Murray Richardson collected a blocked shot and put the puck in behind D’Arsie.
They went 3-1 up after a sequence of passes behind the goal by Brodie Hamilton and Hank Tseng set up a clear shot for Jordan Burt.
The Bears spent a lot of the third period with players missing for various indiscretions and the Second Star, goaltender Alexander Sjostedt, made a couple of saves on long-range shots before being hurt as he made to stop a skater one-on-one.
The Cats were at one stage playing against three and the goaltender, but despite being able to control the puck, were unable to find an angle past the defense.
Burt put away an empty-netter with 19 seconds remaining.
“Lots of checking tonight. It was a rough game,” Bears player Winston Lee said after the game.
On Thursday night, the Buffaloes and the Clouded Leopards played out a 7-7 draw, with Leopards player Weng To and the Buffaloes’ Eric Shen scoring hat-tricks.
The Bears head the table on three points, with the other three teams together on two points.
The next round of games in the Open Division are on June 12 and 13, and the Promo Division’s next game is at 9:30pm on Thursday at the rink on Nanjing E Road.