Singapore Tourney 2005

With talent such as Jamie Marriott, Scott Whitcomb, Michael White and Scott Lamont in the lineup, the Flying Farangs were expected to fare well in the grueling Singapore hockey marathon. However, seven high-intensity games in 48 hours require more than just pure skill to win. The Farangs club also possessed perhaps the most important ingredient of all for a winner: team chemistry. And that fact explains the 7-0 record en route to hoisting the Singapore Cup.

Game 1: Farangs vs Hong Kong Select

Bangkok’s long-time nemesis wasn’t the powerhouse of past years but with Greg Smyth, Tom Barnes and Grant Philips, Hong Kong certainly was a formidable opponent. The Farangs came out guns blazing and took it to the Hong Kongers for the first two periods. The Select’s top line was dangerous, but goalie Jason Cotsmire was there to make the big saves when needed. A late third-period thrust by Hong Kong brought the score to within one as time wound down. But unlike past years, Bangkok recovered and regrouped against the Select to hang on for the win. Final score 5-4.

Game 2: Farangs vs Singapore Rusty Blades

Up against another grind-it-out team, the Farangs were ready for the challenge. It was a tight-checking affair with loads of dump and chase. Singapore matched Bangkok with hustle each shift, but the Farangs stingy team defense and Cotsmire’s brilliance were too much for the co-hosts. Final score 1-0.

Game 3: Farangs vs Shanghai-Saudi

Always a tough draw for Bangkok, the Farangs somehow mangaged to open up their explosive offense on this afternoon against the boys from Shanghai, who teamed up with a handful of Saudi-based skaters. Top forwards like MWhite and LaMantia couldn’t be contained, even with the likes of wily Flying Farang vet Kevin Hall playing D for the other side. JMarriott’s game rounded into form playing the point – a crucial development as the tourney progressed. Final score 6-0.

Game 4: Farangs vs Abu Dhabi

This one was a bruiser from the drop of the puck. It was a grinders’ battle as both teams slugged it out in the corners and in front of the net for every inch of ice. Sticks and elbows were high, cheap shots were abundant, and tempers flared. It was old-time hockey. Both goalies were good, but on this evening, Goalie Cots was better. Final score 2-0.

Game 5: Farangs vs Shanghai-Saudi

An early morning re-match and the hangovers on both sides were evident. But the Farangs took it to their opponents in the later stages of the game, with Lamont and Witty firing on all cylinders. The opponent’s beleaguered goaltender saw more rubber than a Thai condom factory. Cots finally saw his goose-egg streak end after the half way mark of the first period, but even that let down would not deter the Flying Farangs. Final score 7-2.

Game 6: Farangs vs Kuala Lumpur Cobras

It’s always a tight one when the Farangs and Cobras meet, but this occasion was something special. Both sides battled hard with the Farangs taking the edge in offensive-zone play and shots. But with the opposing netminder standing on his head, it didn’t matter. It looked bleak for the Farangs in the late-going of the third. The Cobras just scored making it 2-0, and a goal-crease collision had hobbled Cotsmire, who was forced to leave. Hong Kong’s stopper Grant Philips kindly stepped in, and the Farangs dug deep as time ticked away. Big blueliner Michael Crowley blasted home a shot with two minutes left to launch the comeback. With 30-seconds to go and Philips on the bench for an extra skater, the French-Canadian Dave Cote banged in a Marriott rebound to tie it 2-2. The game was going to overtime.

In the extra frame, the Farangs had the momentum. Relentless corner work by MWhite paid dividends, as LaMantia gained control of the puck behind the net, and slammed home a wraparound for the 3-2 OT win. The Farangs were headed to the finals.

Game 7: Farangs vs Singapore Chilly Crabs

The defending champion Singapore Chilly Crabs were also undefeated heading into the final. They were big and tough and grinded it out much like the Farangs. The bodies were sore and the legs tired. Singapore appeared to take Bangkok lightly from the outset; a mistake they would quickly regret.

The Farangs came out flying. The game plan was to dump and chase, and get all pucks on the net at every opportunity. They faced a stellar Chilly Crabs goaltender, and easy goals wouldn’t be scored on this night. The MWhite-LaMantia combo produced again getting the puck to the net, and Marriott streaked in from the point to blast in the rebound.

It was all team defense and netminding from there. Philips was spectacular, thwarting the few good chances that the Farangs stingy D-men let through. Michael Nava, David Blomqvist, Kevin Dougherty and Crowley stood the Crabs up at the blueline, forcing them to give up the puck time and again. Bangkok’s forwards hustled back every shift to check the open man, as Singapore turned on the juice with time running out. But it was too little too late. Final score 1-0. It was a total Flying Farang team effort.

Tourney Notes:

* Jeff LaMantia was deservedly named Most Valuable Player with his important goals, defensive prowess, and face-off domination.
* Jamie Marriott (4 goals, 4 assists) and Michael White (4 goals, 3 assists) finished in the tourney top-10 scoring race, sixth and ninth, respectively.
* Jason Cotsmire finished second in goaltender statistics with 9 goals against in 6 games; a goals-against average of 1.50; and a save percentage of 0.917. Cotsy also recorded three consecutive shut-outs