THE Adun Subang Jaya Ice Hockey League got off to a slow start following the Hari Raya and Deepavali celebrations.
The organisers were not impressed when several players and match officials turned up late at the Sunway Pyramid Ice Rink last Thursday evening for the mid-week match between Predators and No Rules.
However, goalkeeper Roland Fauvel, who has just recovered from an injury sustained during the World Fives in April, seemed eager to make his league debut this season.
Fauvel, a sports therapist at the National Sports Institute (NSI) in Bukit Jalil, will miss the league for the next 26 days as he will be travelling with the national squash team to Qatar, Pakistan and Hong Kong.
“It felt great to get back on the ice. Two weeks ago, I did not think I could play,” said Favel, who has been on a liquid diet fast consisting of lemon and maple syrup for the past two weeks.
“Fasting is a great form of detoxification. I could feel my muscles limbering up,” he addded.
In the early minutes of the match, both sides found it hard to find their rhythm and just knocked the puck around the rink.
Having lost 4-6 to Predators in their first encounter, No Rules captain Johnny Boulianne scored a hat trick in the first half but it was still not enough to prevent Predators from winning by the same score.
“Ice hockey is a passing game. But we did not play as a team in the second half,” said Boulianne, a Monorail design manager.
Boulianne opened account with a second minute strike. Five minutes later, he placed the puck into the back of the net again after getting support from Marco Nykanem.
Predators replied through Peter Yip Kwok Weng in the 11th minute from a melee in front of the goal. Thirty seconds later, Johnson Choh Shaw Meng dribbled past the defence and levelled the score to 2-2.
Boulianne displayed his persistence and gave No Rules the lead when he scored in the 15th minute. The next five minutes before the interval failed to produce any goal.
In the second half, Predators failed to capitalise on the situation even when No Rules were reduced to four players after Nykanem was penalised for slashing. Moi Jia Yung scored in the 22nd miniute to extend No Rules' lead to 4-2.
Two minutes later, Predators' Nathan Kellar scored off a loose shot in front of goal to reduce the deficit.
Predators, captained by NSI physiologist Patrick Potvin, struck from the right flank to level the score at 4-4 in the 31st minute.
In the 37th minute, Potvin got the crowd excited when he wrong-footed five No Rules players and put his side ahead for the first time.
“That was my best moment on ice. I beat the last defender because Johnny (Boulianne) came out from the central defensive line. I looked at the keeper and when he committed, I just went around him and placed the shot on the wide side,” Potvin added.
A minute before the final buzzer, Kellar picked up the rebound from Yip's shot to seal the match for the Predators.