For hockey fans looking for a home away from home, look no further than to The Seobu Sports Center in Dogye-Dong. Seobu is the practice facility, and home arena of the Changwon Lycons, Changwon’s only amateur ice hockey team.
The team is a mix of foreigners and Changwon locals. The Lycons play every Friday Night with the puck dropping at 11PM. They play three 18-minute periods at a grueling pace with only two-minute breaks in between periods. They face rival teams hailing from Busan, to Ulsan, and across Gyeongsangnam-do. Most games have a full roster, substitute players and a referee.
The match I saw was self-regulated without any referee. It was a friendly match where individual players made the calls and sorted out the penalties. However, this did make for more exciting viewing because it resulted in mostly-continuous play.
The Busan Hockey Club visited Seobu Sports Center to face the Lycons on Friday, October 25th. After a scoreless first period, Busan got the go ahead goal in the second period. In the third period however, the Lycons tied the game thanks to a goal from Jeong Do Hyun with assists from Luke Kavanaugh and Jacinto Wong, making the score 1-1. Then within the last 5 minutes of the third period, Jeong Do Hyun scored once more, thanks to an assist from Kong Tae Young. The game clock ran down and Changwon edged out Busan 2-1
It was an exciting, physical match full of powerful shots and hard hits into the boards. But, given the friendly nature of the league, both teams shook hands afterward and even posed for a picture together, smiling and relishing in this special opportunity to play organized ice hockey while in South Korea.
/Posted by Coby Zeifman, Changwon Reporter Blogger