Anyang Halla and Oji Eagles season home debuts, High1 make the short trip to Japan, and Daemyung are back in Korea after toppling Sakhalin in Russia.
Only four teams are in action this weekend with a double header in Anyang and Tomakomai
Anyang Halla v Daemyung Killer Whales
This time last season this would have been seen as a routine outing for Halla to pick up two wins. A year later and we have almost a completely different story. Daemyung return from Sakhalin with two wins against last years finalists, whereas Halla picked up only 1 point in Sakhalin this season before a somewhat overwhelming series in Goyang against High1 last weekend, albeit with two wins under their belt.
On paper, this has the potential to throw out some tightly contested games, but one can’t help but feel that Halla should have enough experience to grind through the gears to a couple of results. Being back in the newly refurbished ice barn and having their always rowdy foreign contingency in the stands, they should be able to get across the line.
Oji Eagles v High1
The Eagles return home with a record of 2-2 from the first four games. After a strong start against the Icebucks in Games 1 & 2, they were cast aside last weekend by a free-scoring Blades team. High1 have started the season in a somewhat similar fashion, posting an OT loss and a victory against Daemyung in the first two games, before being swept at home by Halla last weekend.
Another series that could throw up some interesting games. High1, being allowed a larger number of imports this season due to being in the bottom two teams last season, have looked a lot more solid than in previous years. Jason Bacashihua looks to have been a great pick up for them, putting in a string of excellent performances in net. This weekend may also see the High1 league debut of Mike Testwuide, who has been recovering from a broken jaw. Should Mike and Troy Milam both be fit, High1 have an excellent chance to get some points.
The Eagles should have a strong home advantage going into this one. No travel and being in front of a large home crowd could be exactly the boost they need to get their season back on track. They will be looking towards former NHLers Stephane Veilleux and Barry Tallackson to lead the lines and the scoring. Both players have been reasonably quiet so far, both picking up 4 points in 4 games, but they have to potential to drive the team on.
Photo credited to Anyang Halla Facebook Page