On behalf of all the volunteers in the Dbees Hockey Club and as your Chairman, I welcome everyone back to another season with the Dbees. The Dbees are a unique organization in Hong Kong hockey, comprised of dedicated volunteers whose sole purpose is to foster the game of minor hockey in Hong Kong. We welcome all returning and new members for another exciting season of hockey. Our first practice is on August 26th at the Elements Ice Rink and the coaching staff is looking forward to meeting all the players and providing them with a great experience on the ice.
Prior to the final game of the season, the Baird Dbees tied in regulation time another tightly contested game against YTM, which was settled by a shootout, this time in favour of YTM. The final game was not a close game given the absence of some key players and YTM emerged victorious. The coaching staff welcomed the challenge of exhorting the players on despite some key absentees. Such situations always give other players the opportunity to step up to compete and that is a good life learning challenge for anyone.
The season has now ended and YTM claimed the Cup but it was a good season for the Club and there were many close games and the players enjoyed the challenge and intensity of the games. It is now on to the MI5 Tournament in Hong Kong where some of the players will compete and represent the Baird Dbees in the Bantam recreational division.
In the continuing battle between RTM Asia and Baird Dbees, the game Saturday February 25th was another close game. RTM Asia jumped out to a quick lead 2:0, catching the Baird Dbees flat footed and a limited warmup for their goalie, Julian Mak. A determined group, the Baird Dbees came back and tied the game 2 all. It looked as if the game was going to be a higher scoring affair when the first period finished with a 5 all draw. However, Boyce Wong and Julian Mak got their games back and both made some fantastic saves to keep their teams in the game. In the end thought, Baird Dbees came out on top 7:6 despite pressure from RTM Asia in last thirty seconds of the game when they pulled their goalie. The series is almost even and Baird Dbees, with their fourth straight win are on a nice roll. Next Saturday's game promises to be another close battle as most games have been.
Since returning from Kamloops, the Baird Dbees U14 team has played a number of games in the League against the sole opponent, RTM Asia. RTM Asia has had the upper hand so far but in the last game, Baird Dbees came out on top 6 to 2. Sotaro Tamura had a strong game, notching his first hat trick of the season. Ryan Chu had two goals and linemate, Nicholas Winchester had two assists. The other goal was scored by Lokel Wong. Some outstanding saves from Julian Mak kept the RTM Asia snipers at bay. There is a break now for Chinese New Year, but the Season will pick up again early February
In day two, the team had two games, the first against Chilliwack and the second against Cranbrook. Cranbrook had earlier played Chilliwack and won in a shootout despite being severely outshot during the game. Our spirits were high in the hope we could have a competitive game. At times we played well and in one period, it was a 3:2 result but with three 20 minute stop time periods absent the mercy rule, our team's stamina was questionable at times. Chilliwack prevailed 9:3 in the end. Our second game against Cranbrook would be tougher and indeed it was, with the team losing 14:1. Unfortunately as a result of the draw, we would have to play Cranbrook the next day.
Cranbrook in the second game did not let up and we lost 14:0. After so many tough games, there have been some signs of resignation which for the Baird Dbees and Typhoons is not an option. The challenge of every coach is to keep his players engaged no matter what the obstacles. A focus on making each shift a productive one. Easier said than done but it must be the objective. A good many of the players embraced this so the Kamloops trip has certainly been one for developing character.
In our final game, there was a realistic chance of a win but we would have to play our best against the Prince George Cougars. Unfortunately, our inconsistency got the better of us and we went down 6:1. The nice part, we won the final period 1:0, scoring with 3 seconds left in the game. We rounded out the day, with a trip to Sun Peaks, where some of the players skied, tobagganed and later, played shinny on an outdoor rink. After returning to Kamloops, we saw the Kamloops Blazers play Victoria in a WHL game.
After 10 games and 3 practices, our tournament has ended. There were no wins. However, if you ask each player was it a good experience, many would say yes. Hong Kong hockey has a long way to go for sure but if people in lead positions work together, the hockey in Hong Kong can get better. While we were missing some of the better players in Hong Kong, we gave others an opportunity to play high level hockey. Some of these players come from opposing clubs but the Baird Dbees have always put the player first with the hope this would set a good precedent to follow. Certainly some of the players will go on to play for the National team beyond the Selects program, either in youth or adult tournaments. It is the hope of the Baird Dbee Hockey Club that more organisations work together to develop hockey in Hong Kong and that tournaments like the Bell Capital Cup, Quebec Peewee Tournament and KIBIHT are regular tournaments that Hong Kong participates in. It would be a big step forward to have a coordinated National Development Program that unifies youth hockey in Hong Kong.
The trip to play in the Kamloops International Bantam Hockey Tournament www.kibiht.com began on December 20th, first with a visit to Victoria to play exhibition games against Tier 1 AAA teams from Saanich, Juan de Fuca and the Racquet Club. The team experience tough competition but that was what was needed because that is what the team will face in the Tournament. We also used practice times to work on team systems and improve our structure. Following the four exhibition games in Victoria, we travelled to Kamloops on Christmas Day. Our final exhibition game was against the Alaska Grizzlies in our Tier 2 Division but again very tough competition and we lost 9:1. The good news, is that we have scored in each of the five exhibition games but our defensive game needs much improvement.
In our first day of the tournament we played against the Kamloops Tier 2 team. We had an awful first period and went into the dressing room down 5:0 but a good pep talk from coaches Simon Ferguson and Stuart Winchester, got the team back on track and a much better second period followed with the score 8:2. Unfortunately we were not able to carry the momentum in the third and the score finished 10:2. It is interesting to see the different levels of passion among the team members. The coaching staff is doing its best to raise the level of play for every player. Game two is on December 29th as is game three.
The final game to mark the half way point in the season and the break for the Christmas holidays was an entertaining one that finished in a 5 all draw and had to be settled on a shootout. The action was end to end with some stellar scoring plays featured by both teams throughout the game. That said, the RTM Asia had the distinct advantage in shots and were it not for the stellar goaltending from Boyce Wong, the score would have favoured RTM Asia. Some were heard to remark that was the best game they ever saw Boyce play and his coach, Stuart Winchester agreed that it was one of his finest performances. On at least five occasions he gloved shots that were heading for the top shelf including several off Wayne Tsang, RTM Asia's star player who was in disbelief how many times he was robbed of a goal. Boyce's counterpart, Cameron Seymour, also had a strong game and robbed Dbee players of several sure goals as well. The game went back and forth and there was never more than a one goal differential. In the end on the fourth shootout, Willem Mellin of the Baird Dbees made a "sick" deke to pot the winning goal, a play he called and reminescient of Stall's goal against the Edmonton Oilers in the shootout played the day before in Minnesota. The season total wins have the RTM Asia team slightly ahead of the Baird Dbees so the second half promises equally exciting.
Merry Christmas to one and in Hong Kong Hockey from the Dbees Hockey Club.
The current season is well underway and the Dbees are featuring a team in the U17 City League. The team is again called Baird Dbees and features some of the better players in Hong Kong. In addition, the Club is working with Typhoons to take a team to the Kamloops Bantam International Tournament. This will be third tournament outside Hong Kong for the Club and we will play in the AA division against some very good Clubs from British Columbia and the Pacific Northwest, www.kibiht.com.
The Bantam team was one of three Baird Dbee teams in this year's Mi5 Tournament in Hong Kong. The Bantams were in a six team round robin featuring old rivals from the Gold Club playing with Empire Panthers along with two HKIHA teams that adorned Hong Kong's National Team uniform. In addition, there was Kung Pow Kings which featured players from overseas and the Hong Kong Selects. The team did well and managed to place second in the tournament earning the right to play the Selects for the Bantam A final. It was a well contested final, but in the end, the Selects prevailed 6:0. Nevertheless, a second placing and being silver medalists is a good result. Throughout the Tournament, the Baird Dbee values were well represented and the players very much enjoyed their six games. It was very clear if there was a team spirit award, the Baird Dbees would have been strong candidates to receive it.
The 2016 Mega 5's tournament was an excellent learning experience for our Squirt team. While we were paired up against some of the toughest teams in Asia, the kids always played to the best of their ability, and had a good time doing it! Many lessons were learned about teamwork and positional play, particularly playing in the defensive zone. A good understanding of where we're at as a team and where we need to go for next year was shown and the kids are keen to get back at it for next season. Off ice our squirts had a chance to bond and show a great deal of team spirit, including ,for many, a chance to cheer on our Mini-Squirt and Bantam teams. Great work to all the DBees teams in this tournament.