Team Canada defeated the World Team 6-4 in a charity ice hockey game held in early January at “The Rink”, located on the 7th floor of the Central Grand Rama IX shopping centre. Team Canada was composed of Canadian expats based in Thailand, plus three visiting Canadian MPs (Patrick Brown – Barrie, Andrew Saxton – North Vancouver, & Randy Hoback – Prince Albert), and ex-Trustee Justin Heran from Simcoe County.
The World team was a collection of American, Czech, English, Finnish, German, and Swedish players. It was also boosted by the addition of Chicago Black Hawk defenseman, Johnny Oduya, who soon after the game flew back to North America to participate in the abbreviated NHL season.
The VIP puck drop.
Team Canada was in tough for this game because the World squad featured the Flying Farangs top line of Swede Henrik Olofsson, Czech Jurg Dudler, Thai national Tewin “Thor” Chartsuwan plus defensemen Oduya and Swiss national Remo Nyffenegger. This line had led the Farangs to their first ever Land of Smiles tournament victory back in October.
Johnny Oduya, playing for the World Team.
Philip Calvert, Canada’s new ambassador to Thailand, dropped the puck for the ceremonial face-off between Flying Farang co-captain and outgoing TCCC board member Todd Switzer and World Team captain Oduya. The TCCC was also represented by board members Derek van Pelt and John Casella and advisor and Flying Farang co-captain Geoff McIntyre.
Marc Spiegel, the President of the Thai-Finnish Chamber of Commerce, was the MC for the evening and handled the introductions in both Thai and English. Attending the game were Thai Senator Tassana Boontong, The President of Thailand-Canada Parliamentarian Friendship Group and MP Udomlak Pengnorapat, the vice-president of that organization.
The Canadian team jumped out to an early lead in the game and hung on with some stellar goaltending from Lance Parker, who had done yeoman’s work to help promote the game. Canadian MP Patrick Brown dominated play when he was on the ice.
The World Team fought back to within one goal through the determined effort of Oduya, and the strong goaltending of Czech Ambassador Victor Grepl but in the end the Canadian bench proved too strong for the World Team and Thai goalie Pattarapol “Dream” Ungkulpattanasuk, playing for Team Canada, made a number of sensational saves in the third stanza to seal the win for the Canadian team for the second year running.
Organizer Scott Murray said aftewards, “We had an active NHL player, the Canadian ambassador to drop the puck, three serving Canadian MPs playing, and a Thai senator and MP in attendance, what more could you want? Referees Sakchai Chinanuvatana and Mike Lashbrook also did a great job of maintaining order in the game when it looked like things might get out of hand.”
The game raised Bt58,474 for the Thai Red Cross. This was the third charity game to help the Red Cross, the first was in January 2005 to benefit tsunami victims, and the second was last year to benefit Bangkok flood victims.
Team Canada rally at their net.