Recap of Shenzhen Return Cup Tournament (Dec 23rd-24th, 2017)

It was a fantastic weekend in Shenzhen with our U8 Selects winning the gold medal at the Return Cup. We played two extremely exciting games over the two days, first game against the Shenzhen Hornets and second game against the Beijing Victory Dragons.

Our first opponent, Shenzhen Hornets had a very similar style to our Team with a couple of core players leading the way offensively and defensively. Since it was our first game as a Team, we struggled to trust each other in our own end, players were having trouble staying in proper positions. However, we got better as the game went on, forcing the game into shootout 15 seconds to go in the third period with the net empty. Thanks to Eli Beselt who scored the tying goal from a spectacular dish from Tommy Kut. 3 shooters from each Team was not enough to end the game as we went into two rounds of sudden death shootout. Finally, we managed to pull it off with Tommy Kut scoring the game winning goal and spectacular goaltending by Danny Huang.

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Like the first day, we did not start the way we wanted in the final game. Beijing Victory Dragons came out flying and caught us off guard by scoring a couple of quick goals to take an early lead. However, we started to bounce back, thanks to some phenomenal shifts by Jack Welch, causing chaos for the other Team by hard work, being super aggressive on the loose pucks and one on one battles along the boards. Also, all of our defensemen started to play more responsible in our own zone by covering the net area and keeping the puck out. It was also good to see some help from the forwards, especially Keefe and Eli who were great at knowing when to hang back to support our blue line. Offensively, Tommy Kut was on fire scoring over 10 goals this game and winning the MVP. It was spectacular to see the Team improve over just two games and come out with the best result. We as a Team still need a lot of work on positioning, passing and skating for further success in the future.