Singapore recently hosted the annual Singapore Ice Dragons Classic, an invitational tournament divided into 5 different age group competition: Atoms (8 years old and under), Squirts, Peewees, Bantams and Under 17. This year was the largest competition yet with 8 teams represented in the Squirts division. Many teams from different countries or cities fielded teams in all or most of the age divisions. The South Australian Kangaroos fielded a solitary team (which also included 3 kids from Western Australia and one from New South Wales) for the Squirts competition. They had to travel the furthest to this Asian team dominated tournament. This article and galleries focuses on the Kangaroos.
The Squirts 8 teams were: Singapore Ice Dragons Red and White (the latter being a development team), Bangkok Zeus, Bangkok Yaksa (Giants), Hong Kong Typhoons Selects, Indonesia Badax, South Australia Kangaroos and International Northstars (a combination of many nationalities) were divided into 2 divisions of 4 teams each with all teams playing 3 minor round games before being seeded for either the gold cup final series (top 4), or the silver cup final series (bottom 4 teams).
Photos displayed are only a selection of all the photos taken at the tournament. Here is the Kangaroos’ journey….
Game 1 – Singapore Ice Dragons Red v South Australia Kangaroos 4-5
It was a new experience for many of the Australian players but the excitement of playing in their first ‘international’ helped some of the nerves, plus with the experience of the more seasoned campaigns that had already played in international as well as national comps helped guide the team to a competitive game. At one point they held the lead only to see the Ice Dragons come back and overtake them for the 5-4 win.
Game 2 – Bangkok Zeus v South Australia Kangaroos 1-8
A long day with 2 games spread quite far apart saw the Kangaroos probably a tad tired going into this game. It was a wake up call when facing a quality outfit such as the Bangkok Zeus and the Kangaroos struggled to mount any momentum as well as a Zeus goalie that saw the puck every time.
Game 3 – South Australia Kangaroos v Hong Kong Typhoons Selects 1-8
The team to beat in the competition….. Rumour had it the Hong Kong teams were really serious about winning the tournament with imported coaches and with their suits resembled an NHL bench, as well as something like training 5 times a week! Who knows, but the Kangaroos were simply outclassed by this quality outfit so went into the finals without a minor round win so would be contesting the Silver Cup.
Silver Cup Semi Final – South Australia Kangaroos v Indonesia Badax 6-1
It was time to regroup and hopefully recapture some of the earlier spark of the Singapore Ice Dragons Red game where they came close to winning. More difficult was that it was against a team they had not faced but the Badax team had scored a solitary strong 7-1 victory against the Singapore development team, the Ice Dragons White team. The Kangaroos were determined and scored first before adding another shortly after to have momentum. The whole team fed off this confidence and found themselves dominating in most areas of the rink to lead eventually at 6-0 before a clumsy hit from behind sent the Badax player one on one with the Kangaroo’s goalie for a penalty shot. The Badax player had a trick up his sleeve and at the very last second snuck it past the Kangaroo’s goalie. The Kangaroos were on a high with their dominant win and found out they would be playing the Singapore Ice Dragons Red for the Silver Cup, the team they almost beat in the first game.
Silver Cup Final – Singapore Ice Dragons Red v South Australia Kangaroos 5-3
Buoyed by their 6-1 win against the Indonesia Badax the continuing buzz didn’t materialise as the players seemed to be a bit overawed by the gravity of playing in a final perhaps and found themselves defending for most of the first period. The Ice Dragons would post a couple of goals to have a clear advantage, with the Kangaroos fans hoping they would strike back for a close game like Game 1. But it wasn’t to be and the Kangaroos found themselves with a 0-4 deficit. Not what they came here for. The Coach’s harsh words (even though they are only kids 😉 at the second break had the desired effect and spurred them into action. Shaking off the lethargy of the first two periods they would score the next two goals to trail 2-4, before the Ice Dragons responded again to make it a three goal advantage. A late goal by the Kangaroos brought some respectability back to the scoreline and the Kangaroos could hold their heads high with the 3-5 loss after the 0-4 earlier scoreline. The result was the same as the Adelaide Huskies that contested the 2017 Ice Dragons Classic but the Kangaroos scored quite a few more goals in the tournament. All players, coaching staff and parents had a ball and would like to thank the organisers for the opportunity.