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Hockey Central

SCIHL Division 1 Champions - Manulife

June 3rd, 2022

Manulife Defeated HKBN 7-3 To Win The Division 1 Championship

They always say, it doesn't matter how you start, it's the way you finish. After starting the season 1-4, Manulife pulled through when it counted. Led by Ben MacAskill's 4 points, Manulife outplayed HKBN to capture the first Division 1 title at the Discovery Bay Ice Rink.

On the contrary, HKBN started the season strong going 8-0 and were the heavy favourites to win the Championship. However, like most things, covid-19 put a wrench into their plans. With the loss of players like Eric Molander, Nic Winchester, Jesse Lussier, Dennis Toews and Bryan Crane, they were outmatched in the Final.

Manulife took a 4-0 first period lead and did not look back. MacAskill went end to end and fired a shot through the arms of HKBN goaltender Dean Tzembelikos for the opening goal. Jared Scotchmer made it 2-0 off a goal mouth scramble and MacAskill made it 3-0 with a wicked shot in the slot. Francois Esterhuizen made it 4-0 when he came out of the penalty box, picked up the puck and fired a shot past the blocker of Tzembelikos.

In the second period, the teams exchanged a pair of goals beginning with Jeff Wall when he finally beat Manulife goaltender Ray Loo. Loo had his fan club in attendance which gave him some mojo on a strong game. Kevin O'toole made it 5-1 only to have Whitney Olsen reply back for HKBN. Before the period ended, Corey Gaston regained the 4-goal lead for Manulife.

In the third period, the game was pretty much all but over. The HKBN, with only 7 players were gassed and captain Jon Szychta did all he can just like the regular season. Manulife and Loo shut the door the rest of the way. Loo stopped 29 shots while Tzembelikos stopped 44. Final score, 7-3 for Manulife.

A fitting way to end a 15-year career in Hong Kong for Gaston who returns to Canada as a Champion.

The Burger Joys Three Stars:
1. Ben MacAskill (Manulife)
2. Corey Gaston (Manulife)
3. Jared Scotchmer (Manulife)