Friday, July 6, 2012

Hong Kong Hockey 5s

It's been a month past but I have just now gotten around to uploading my photos of the Hockey 5s, and annual international competition hosted at Megabox, which boasts the world's highest hockey rink or something to that effect, although I would argue that there must be some rinks in the world that are located at altitudes higher than ten floors up in a shopping mall that is located at sea level.  Megabox's full sized rink might have the world's biggest air conditioning fees unless the rink in Dubai turns out to be more expensive.  SB was wanted by more than one team so he was pleased and he ended up playing on a team mostly comprised of Swedes and Swiss in the International A division. He had a good time and we randomly met a fellow American player from a Shanghai team who grew up with one of my best friends.  I had heard stories about Teddy and the Hamilton group over the years and it was an unexpected pleasure to meet him in Hong Kong of all places.

This player, Michelle, is another American hockey player who is the only woman playing in the first division although she is moving back to North America soon.  She is tiny, under 5 feet tall by quite a few inches, but compensates for her short legs and reach with a superior understanding of space and position as well as great hands.  Her passes are nearly perfect, making her an ideal line-mate.

Patrick, another American, is in my opinion the best player in Hong Kong.  He captained one of the Ivy teams and played in Germany.  He has a wicked shot.  SB has blocked a few of his shots and saws that they are very painful, especially because SB doesn't wear shoulder pads.

This is Teddy, the American from Hamilton.  I'm starting to realize a theme but I swear that I wasn't planning on only featuring American players.

To the left is hands down the worst uniform of the tournament, worn by the Singapore Manimals.  The front featured some guy in a suit next to an eagle and surrounded by poorly rendered flames.  Their socks didn't match.  My eyeballs started to burn after watching them; the design was so bad that I was offended at being forced to endure it.  To the right is a Canadian professional player who came down to play on a Hong Kong team that was managed by his brother.

This is who I thought was the best player of the tournament.  Like Jesus, he could walk on water.  In fact his movements on the ice were miraculous.  According to his fellow Czech teammates, he was on several of the world championship winning teams for the Czech Republic.

Here's Junior, the villain of the tournament, who in the photo is attempting (with debatable success) to make himself as small as possible so that the goalie can see the shot.  Junior, which was the only legible name on any of the Czech jerseys, gathered penalties like he was collecting stamps, but he was so amusing to watch that I could forgive him.  It also helped that he played in International B so SB never met up with his team and therefore was never on the receiving end of Junior's special brand of defending.

Finally, the Beijing goalie.  This team, made up of current and former Chinese national team players, were a close second to the Manimals in the jersey competition.  Their designs were actually really nice but it appeared that they couldn't decide which design they liked the most so they just put all of them on the jersey.  There were flames, stars, dragons, imperial motifs, etc. all over the place.  But look at the goalie's mask.  I loved it.

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