Yamato Cup 2009

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This is a write up of the 2009 Yamato Cup from the viewpoint of the TSHA. For an account that is both less biased and bitter about the results, please see the write up on the Yamato Cup web site .

Please check out the videos from this tournament .

(em}by Dave Gutteridge

The TSHA knew this year's tournament would be tougher than last year's, with more teams and talented players coming in from all over Asia. However, the TSHA was confident that they had a winning team, with a larger pool of local players to draw upon.

The TSHA was especially determined to beat the team from Korea, who not only won last year's Yamato Cup, but also their own tournement in Seoul in the Spring. So the TSHA had plenty of reason to want to at least earn a victory over them. Not least because they are from Korea.

The first game of the day was the TSHA versus the MHL Tigers. The MHL Tigers are made up of some of the best players from the MHL roller hockey leage, and they are generally young, fast, and have tight positioning. Pretty much the opposite of the TSHA in every way.

Despite a valiant effort, the TSHA lost 3-2, and one of the goals was a strange floater that was launched from one end of the rink and hit someone or something on the way, which changed it's angle of approach, resulting in our super star goaltender Eric getting caught off guard.

And that set the tone for the day for the TSHA. Overall decent play, strong efforts and determination, and yet each game was a struggle to remain competitive. Somehow fate was just not with the TSHA this time.

Not that the TSHA lost every game. They battled their arch-rivals, the Korea Komrades, to a 3 - 3 tie. And then they tied the Stripes All Stars 3-3 as well. Excellent, close fought games that were fun to play and watch, but ultimately hurting the TSHA's chances of getting the standings they need to be placed in the playoff rounds.

Then the TSHA lost to the Thai Red Bulls 4 - 2, and the frustration set in. It seemed that the TSHA had everything it needed to win, but just wasn't winning.

When it came time to face the Boring Sponges, who had been taking a beating most of the day, the TSHA finally got a win, but the 2 - 0 score said a lot about the overall TSHA offensive power when compared to the Korea Komrade's 11 - 0 win over the Sponges.

The TSHA finally found some winning spirit in the playoffs, taking the Sponges 6 - 1 in the first round, and then another 5 - 2 win over the Stripes. However, because of their low stats, the highest they could rise was to fourth place overall. So they sat on the side lines and watched the Korea Komrades play a wickedly exciting game championship game and earn a 1 - 0 victory over the MHL tigers.