Looking for something cool (ridiculously bad pun intended) to do this weekend? Why not head out to Songjiang to check out the China Sharks? Shanghai’s entry into the awkwardly-named, seven-team Asia League Ice Hockey is going to be finishing up its inaugural season with a three-game homestand against one of their Japanese rivals, the Oji Eagles, and will be looking to improve on their admittedly modest 5-22 record.
The result of a collaborative effort between the NHL’s San Jose Sharks and the National Ice Hockey team, the Sharks have a mostly-Chinese roster that features a few key imports. Former NHL tough-guy (and on-ice bodyguard for both Wayne Gretzky and Mario Lemieux) Steve McKenna anchors the defense as a player-coach, while the 20-year pro Wade Flaherty pulls double duty as the team’s starting ‘keeper and the National side’s goalie coach. Kevin Du, a Chinese-born-Canadian, is the team’s youngest and smallest expat, but he may also have the most unique backstory of anyone in the league.
Success has been fleeting this year for the Sharks, but they’ve overcome a tough early schedule and shown steady improvement throughout, having already passed last year’s very meagre win total (3). They’ll be looking to put on a few more good shows for their home fans before the season concludes Tuesday.
When: 3pm Saturday and Sunday; 7pm Tuesday for the season finale
Where: 2000 文翔路 / 2000 Wenxiang Lu, at the SUS International Ice Hockey Arena