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News for 29 March 2017

All the news for Wednesday 29 March 2017

Men's HWL Round 2 - Tacarigua Results March 28, 2017

Pool B     SUI - RUS     1 - 4
Pool A     USA - CHI     2 - 2 (2 - 0)
Pool A     CAN - BAR     10 - 0
Pool B     JPN - TTO     5 - 1

Final Pool Standings

Country     P     W     D     L     GF     GA     GD     WD     LD     Points
Pool A
CAN 3     3     0     0     19     3     16     0     0     9
USA 3     1     0     1     11     7     4     1     0     5
CHI     3     1     0     1     5     8     -3     0     1     4
BAR     3     0     0     3     2     19     -17     0     0     0
Pool B
JPN     3     3     0     0     11     2     9     0     0     9
RUS     3     2     0     1     8     5     3     0     0     6
TTO     3     1     0     2     8     10     -2     0     0     3
SUI     3     0     0     3     3     13     -10     0     0     0

Official Event Site

Canadian men finish 1st in pool, advance to World League 2 quarterfinal

Shaheed Devi

Gordon Johnston and Gabriel Ho-Garcia celebrate a goal at the 2017 World League Round 2 in Trinidad and Tobago (Courtesy of Pan American Hockey Federation)

Canada’s men’s field hockey team is off to the World League 2 quarterfinal after a 10-0 win over Barbados in its final pool stage match in Trinidad and Tobago on Tuesday.

The win means Canada finishes first in Pool A, with three wins and nine points, and will face 4th place Switzerland, which finished winless in Pool B in Thursday’s quarterfinal match (10:15am PT/1:15pm ET).

Gabriel Ho-Garcia and Gordon Johnston scored three goals a piece in Canada’s win. Johnston is now tied for the tournament lead in goals with five, while Ho-Garcia sits in second with four. Mark Pearson, who scored twice against Barbados, also has four goals through the first three games of the competition.

“We knew if we stuck to the game plan and played as well as we know we can, we’d come out on top,” says Ho-Garcia, who opened the scoring for Canada. “It’s just one of those games that we knew anything could happen, so we had to come out hard and get the win.”

All has gone according to plan at World League Round 2 for Canada’s men, who are ranked 11th in the world, entered the tournament the top-ranked team, and the lone team to have competed at the 2016 Olympic Games.

The Canadians should match-up well against the 30th ranked Swiss. But the Swiss are somewhat of an unknown entity, and the Canadians know anything can happen in a quarterfinal and plan to be ready.

“We don’t know much about the Swiss, but any game you have to respect your opponent,” adds Ho-Garcia. “So going into the game we have to watch some video and get to know how they play and hope to get the win and move on to the semis.”

Canada went ahead early in Tuesday’s win as Ho-Garcia scored twice in the third minute of play to put the Canadians up 2-0.

Johnston scored his first of three goals in the 13th minute, before Taylor Curran scored in the 15th and Ho-Garcia netted the hat-trick in the 20th.

Both Perason’s goals came in the second half, during which Canada had a total of four goals en route to the 10-0 victory.

Tuesday’s match against Barbados and Thursday’s quarterfinal both extend a theme that will be present as long as Canada is playing in this tournament: it will be the favourite in every game it plays.

“It’s definitely a different challenge,” says Johnston. “It’s one where we have to focus on the process and play like one of the best teams in the world. We need to make sure that we’re focused that we’re going into these next two games, especially against teams that aren’t ranked as high.”

Field Hockey Canada media release

USMNT Exits Hockey World League Round 2 Pool Play with Two Wins After Thrilling Shootout Competition

Team USA Comes Back to Tie Chile in Regulation Time to Win Shootouts

TACARIGUA, Trinidad & Tobago – With a win and loss pegged to their FIH Hockey World League Round 2 campaign, the U.S. Men’s National Team’s headed into its final pool play match with a clear intention: adding another victory to the count.  

Unlike Team USA’s previous two matches, today’s game was held later in the afternoon with cooler Caribbean temperatures accompanying the 60 minutes of play. Action moved from end line to end line as the international squads settled into the match. Despite short spurts of attack developed from both sides, each competitor lacked the necessary finishing touches. A veteran backfield of Pat Harris (Moorpark, Calif.), Mohan Gandhi (Ventura, Calif.) and Michael Barminski (Ventura, Calif.) utilized the width of the pitch, sliding the ball back and forth between the three in an attempt to stretch Chile’s press and outlet the ball in to pockets. While long leading passes were sent through, the efforts ultimately didn’t connect to the backboard.

With neither team able to convert in the first 15 minutes, the intensity kicked up in the second quarter. Harris stole a ball off of a scramble at the top of the attack circle and was able to send a strike on target but the ball flew wide of the left post. Chile quickly counter attacked, sprinting into the offensive end to launch a solid drive but the opportunity didn’t convert as a result of Aki Kaeppler (Stuttgart, Germany) tightly marking a Chile attacker at the stroke mark. Chile earned its first penalty corner of the match in the 21st minute where Vicente Martin was able to convert for Chile’s first goal with a direct strike from the top of the circle. With a halftime score of USA 0, Chile 1, the red, white and blue quickly generated counter attack, landing an attack penalty corner of it own by finding a Chile foot in the circle. A bobbled insert dismantled the chance to fire off a shot. Again off of a penalty corner, Chile’s Juan Amoroso capitalized on the opportunity to make the score USA 0, Chile 2.

The effort continued from USA who transitioned down field to gain a penalty corner off a dangerous deflection but was unable to get on the scoreboard. It was only in the 45th minute that Team USA’s forward effort paid off. Paul Singh (Simi Valley, Calif.) was able to cut Chile’s lead in half by redirecting a ball past the opponent’s goalkeeper. Entering the fourth quarter, USA’s tempo on the ball was held high to win them a penalty corner opportunity in the 46th minute. Will Holt's (Camarillo, Calif.) classic swift drag flick changed the score to USA 2, Chile 2, to force the squads into shootout competition. 

As the first game at the event to enter shootouts, USA and Chile took to the midfield to determine a final winner. Harris stepped up to take the team’s first shootout, but his hit went wide of the left post. In the goal cage for the red, white and blue was a confident Brandon Karess (Allentown, Pa.) whose bold play of meeting the opposition straight on using double stacks kept Chile scoreless. Singh and Ajai Dhadwal (Agoura Hills, Calif.) both plotted balls into the mesh to earn Team USA the victory.

The USMNT will be back on the turf Thursday, March 30 to begin crossovers.

USFHA media release

Canada chastise Hockey Tridents

Nku Davis

After two minutes into the Hockey Tridents’ last pool game at the Hockey World League Round 2 in, Tacarigua, Trinidad and Tobago Tuesday evening, the score was 2-0 to Canada, Ho-Garcia having found the back of the nets twice. Just over an hour later the Tridents had slumped to a 10-0 whipping.

Following a respectable showing in the their first outing and a dip in performance in their second game, the Bajan boys would have been looking for another performance above their 49th FIH world Ranking.

However, world 11th ranked Canada took adavantage of a slow shaky start by the lads in aquamarine and gold.

With the odds stacked very high against them, the Hockey Tridents seemed to find the rhythm of the game and had a solid passage of play mounting from the midway through the first quarter. Custodian Keenan Knight, a huge part of fightback, had a number of saves keeping his team’s deficit at two.

As things seemed to be settling, Laurando Davis would cough up the ball in midfield and Canada, bossing the game for the last two minutes of the quarter, added another two goals to go in at the break 4-0 up.

Whatever coach Dominic Hill told his charges during the break seemed to energise and settle them. The Hockey Tridents showed good passages of possession and building attacks and circle penetrations for the first time in the game with some consistency.

Canada were still able to add to the scoreline, however, in the 20th and the 28th.

Albeit against the run of play, the first goal in the second quarter came after a challenge on defender Jamar Small saw Canada intercept a wayward pass setting up a two versus one situation with the hard-working Knight giving Ho-Garcia his hat-trick.

Che Warner added his two cents to the efforts of Knight when in the 25th minute he made a brilliant save on the line off a penalty corner to keep Hockey Tridents’ momentum high.

The next three minutes saw the local lads throw everything they could muster as the Canadians and eventually where rewarded with a penalty corner.

Barbados were unable to convert and then were slow to get back into the game and Canada, capitalising on a quick restart, added another to their tally just before the half time break.

The Hockey Tridents again came out of the break energised and traded punches with Canada fairly evenly for the first five minutes of the half, yeoman performances by Warner, Knight and Khodi Gibson saw that the scoreline remained the same.

Akeem Rudder, meanwhile, was left alone to find a breakthrough.

Marlon Daniel in a rare foray forward tried to link with Rudder, but Canada having answers for the questions being asked, posed a few of their own and Barbados did not have any answers for the Canadian’s counter attacks.

The result was Knight being held under siege in his goal, after the 38th minute, by a barrage of penalty corners ticking the score over to 8-0.

Knight and Small would go to work in the remaining minutes of the quarter to keep the scoreline where it was, with Warner adding his efforts with more goal-line heroics off a Canadian penalty corner. However, in the last minute of the period after two saves by Knight the persistent Canadian penalty corner unit would snatch another, making the score 9-0 going into the last quarter.

Warner again would put it all on the line and appeared to be everywhere on the field making the necessary tackles and helping the Hockey Tridents gain precious ground going forward.

Another wayward pass, however, would undo all the good work the local boys had been putting in and Canada, finding the centre of the field wide open, Mark Pearson helped himself to his second of the game and made it 10-0 for his team.

This is how it would stay for the rest of the game as the Hockey Tridents kept their opponents at bay in the remaining minutes. Coach Hill would have a lot to be proud of and definitely a lot to work with going forward as the scoreline was a bit unrepresentative of the effort and level of the game.

The Hockey Tridents will now wait to see who tops the next group and will step onto the field for their quarterfinal Thursday at 8 p.m.

Barbados Today

Canadian umpire Tyler Klenk quickly making his mark

Shaheed Devi

Tyler Klenk (left) made his international umpiring debut at the 2016 Junior Pan American Games in Toronto (By Yan Huckendubler/PAHF)

Less than a year after officiating his first international event, Canadian Tyler Klenk is in Trinidad and Tobago umpiring a marquee event: the 2017 Men’s World League Round 2.

It’s a competition that has significant implications for the nations involved, and for Klenk on his budding career as an umpire as well.

The 24 year-old native of Regina, Saskatchewan made his international debut at the 2016 Men’s Junior Pan American Championships in Toronto, Ontario last summer. And just as quickly as he entered the international scenes, he was on the senior level months later in Canada’s pre-Olympic series with the United States in Vancouver.

And now, World League 2.

The ascent is par for the course for Klenk, who only decided to seriously pursue umpiring as a young adult a couple of years ago, when he stepped away from his playing career and a stint with the Canadian Junior National Team.

“I decided in 2014 that I was really going to start focusing on umpiring,” he says. “I felt that I kind of reached the peak of my playing days and I felt that there was a lot more opportunity to do bigger and better things umpiring.”

Umpiring has been a part of his life since he was living in his home province, where he began officiating high school games and then as a part of the Provincial Team’s volunteer requirements.

When he moved to British Columbia for school (Klenk is finishing his degree in Recreation and Health Education at the University of Victoria), despite his relatively young age, he was a seasoned official.

And that’s when things started to take off.

“It was all kind of a whirlwind,” he says. “I started to get some better appointments locally, and National Championships, doing a few gold medal games at the U16 and U18 Championships, and CIS Championships.”

The quick rise resulted in Klenk landing an appointment at last year’s Pan-Ams, where he put in a good showing and likely opened some eyes.

“I feel I had a really solid tournament and got some good games: a semi-final and a bronze match,” he explains. “Which I thought was really fantastic for me, to get some high-level competition at my first international event. So it all came kind of quick.”

He credits his recent success in part to not being far removed from his playing days, and a sport that is rapidly changing.

“There have been a lot of pretty drastic rule changes in the last 5-10 years,” he says. “Being able to understand those changes, and how they affect the game, and understanding how players are now adapting to these rule changes has allowed me to succeed.”

He also credits having good mentors and encouragement when he was considering giving up playing to focus solely on umpiring. Chris Wilson was one of his advocates and encouraged Klenk to make a run at it when he could have still been playing league games domestically.

But Klenk chose the whistle, and has not looked back since.

“I think a lot of times people look at officiating as something you do when you give up playing,” Klenk explain. “But I was fortunate enough to start umpiring high level games young enough that I kind of got idea that there is a lot of room to grow and a big ladder to climb if you’re willing to commit to it.”

And now he is a few steps up that ladder, and is looking ahead to what he hopes to be a long and fruitful career in field hockey, as an official, following in the footsteps of Field Hockey Canada Hall-of-Fame Inductees and fellow umpire Sumesh Putra, the first Canadians to umpire at the Olympics and World Cup, Ken O’Connor and Marg Lanning, and countless others.

In fact, the list of Canadians who have had long and successful careers in officiating at the highest level is plenty, and also includes Alan Waterman, Sumesh Putra, John Hrytsak and Chris Wilson on the men’s side alone.

For Klenk, it is too soon to be included in that company. But it is never too soon to hope.

“I didn’t really envision it as a young guy growing up, but now that I’m where I’m at, I think that it can only go up from here. So hopefully World League 2 is just the beginning of some big tournaments to come.”

Field Hockey Canada media release

Back in national hockey camp, Rohidas looking to make the cut

BENGALURU: Defender Amit Rohidas is on a comeback trail after a formidable performance for 2017 Coal India Hockey India League (HIL) champions Kalinga Lancers. His performance under crunch situations for the Bhubaneswar-based outfit pulled him back in to the contention of the national team after a gap of more than two years.

With chief coach Roelant Oltmans putting his wards under the scanner day after day in the 40-day camp, and the selection trials for the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup scheduled for next week, Rohidas is eager to show his worth again and make this opportunity count.

"I am really happy to receive this call-up for the national camp," the 23-year-old from Sundergarh district in Odisha said on Tuesday.

After making a memorable debut in the junior squad at the Under-18 in Asia Cup in 2009, Rohidas was part of the junior squad right up to the 2013 FIH Junior Men's Hockey World Cup in New Delhi.

He often found a place in the senior camp too and even played in the 2014 Hockey Men's World League Final. "After that for more than three years I was out of the national camp. But I never gave up hope," he stated.

"But the past three years was a difficult phase for me, waiting in the fringes, hoping for a comeback. I stayed persistent and I am thankful to Hockey India as I played back-to-back national championships, got to improve my game in the domestic circuit and earnestly practiced for the Coal India HIL.

"I think it was this year's good stint in Coal India HIL that the selectors noticed me once again. This is like a new lease of life for me," he said.

He also thanked Kalinga captain and German veteran Moritz Furste for keeping him motivated with sound advice during the HIL days. From a very humble background where Rohidas' parents worked for daily wages, he has climbed the success ladder with creditable performances in Coal India HIL where he was first auctioned for $29,000 in 2013.

He has played under two-time Olympic gold medal winner Furste for five years and feels this stint has helped him grow as a player.

"There are a lot of new things you get to learn as a player under Moritz. It was the zest to play an improvised League year after year that kept me motivated despite being absent in the Indian camp," Rohidas, who a product of Panposh Sports Hostel in Rourkela, recalled.

The Times of India

FIH launches Rules of Hockey app

The International Hockey Federation (FIH) has launched a free ‘Rules of Hockey’ app for iOS and android smartphones.

The app details the official FIH Rules of Hockey 2017, providing officials, players and fans with an easy-to-use and accessible resource.

Mobanode, who have created similar products for other sports including rugby and cricket, were commissioned to develop the app for hockey. The objective was to create a tool that not only helps officials but also gives athletes and fans a better understanding of the game.

The app, which will be constantly updated to reflect approved Rule and Regulations amendments, also includes helpful quizzes to help users learn about the rules that govern the game of hockey. It has been launched with a view to replace printed Rule books previously distributed from FIH’s headquarters in Lausanne.

Speaking of this launch, FIH CEO Jason McCracken said: “This app was developed with two key questions in mind: how can we reach a much wider audience with what we know is an incredibly important development tool? And how can we produce such information in a more sustainable format? With smartphone ownership increasing across the world, we believe this will be an extremely useful and engaging educational resource for everyone involved in our sport, particularly younger generations who are key to our future.”

He continued: “This tool is yet another important component of our 10-year hockey Revolution strategy aimed at making hockey a global game that inspires the next generation. In particular, this app will be key to helping us achieve our aim of increasing professionalism across the sport by increasing awareness and understanding of the rules that govern it.”

To download the iOS version, click here. For the android version click here.

FIH site

MacKinnon named High Performance Director

Photo: www.photosport.nz

Hockey New Zealand is pleased to announce Paul MacKinnon has been appointed as the organisation’s new High Performance Director.

MacKinnon has an extensive background in high performance environments including five years as High Performance Player Development Manager with the New Zealand Rugby Union as well as his current role as High Performance Manager at Auckland Cricket.

MacKinnon’s new role includes leading New Zealand’s senior, junior and regional talent programmes.

Hockey New Zealand’s aim is to have both national teams, the Vantage Black Sticks Men and Women, consistently winning medals at major world events.

“I was very excited to see this role come up, hockey is a growing sport made up of great people and values and it has a vibrant future,” MacKinnon said.

“I’m looking forward to helping the elite teams get to the next step as well as improving regional and local high performance systems and processes.

“There are a lot of good things happening in hockey both at national level and around the country so my role will be to identify any gaps and strengthen those.”

Hockey New Zealand chief executive Ian Francis said it was fantastic to be bringing onboard such a high calibre candidate.

“We were looking for a high performance professional with a background in sport and Paul certainly ticks all those boxes,” he said.

“We are thrilled to have Paul joining the team at Hockey New Zealand as we move on to the next phase of our progression towards medalling at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.”

MacKinnon officially begins in his role as High Performance Director on 18th April.

Hockey New Zealand Media release

England Hockey begin sport positioning project

Alex Danson, Lily Owsley, Mark Gleghorne and Maddie Hinch

England Hockey are undertaking an exciting project to best position the sport of hockey and continue the growth of the game in this country at all levels.

With historic gold medal success for Great Britain’s women in 2016, sell-out crowds on the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, participation rising hugely and the upcoming Women’s World Cup in London in 2018, hockey’s current position is unparalleled.

In order to maximise those opportunities and sustain the game’s growth, England Hockey have partnered with brand specialists Heavenly, who have an exceptional portfolio across both sport and the consumer sectors. In addition, research specialists Nielsen Sports will bring their global acumen to ensure the best possible insight into the game and its position in the sporting landscape.

England Hockey Communications Manager Craig Mortimer-Zhika said, “We are delighted to partner with both Heavenly & Nielsen and it is clear the level of expertise they will offer us. The sport is in a fantastic place, and this project has two strands: to maintain the huge growth in participation and to help increase the exceptional interest in both our events and our athletes.”

David Wood, Chief Executive of Heavenly Group, commented, “When we discovered that the Heavenly team working on the pitch had each once upon a time played hockey and loved it, there was little choice but to put our heart and soul into the project. With the game growing year on year, and following the stunning success of the Great Britain women's team at the Rio Olympics, the time for a quantum leap in the hockey game is clearly now. We are delighted to be adding England Hockey to a Heavenly trophy cabinet already honoured by RFU, LTA, ECB and Fulham Football Club.”

Jon Stainer, Managing Director of Nielsen Sports UK&I, added, "England Hockey is primed for growth following unprecedented recent success and phenomenal interest in the sport. We are looking forward to helping drive the next phase of growth through a  programme of thorough research and insight".

Where the sport is now:
On the back of the women’s team’s gold medal in Rio, we are moving closer to A Nation Where Hockey Matters. The sport is growing in clubs, particularly in middle class areas for boys and – more strongly – for girls.  However we recognise we are not always in the national consciousness. Interest comes alive around the Olympics every four years, while negative perceptions of the sport have been developed historically through the experience of hockey at school or watching hockey poorly broadcast.  We already have strong, keen, proud advocates within the sport who help break down those perceptions, but now we need to amplify the sport’s strengths.

Where we want the sport to be:
We must correctly position the sport in front of our key audiences; making hockey as attractive, engaging and accessible as possible.  This is happening through the increasingly positive coverage of hockey, not least during London 2012, but the gold medal has opened up more people’s minds to the possibility of hockey, and its position as a genuine option for people’s time and money, as a follower, supporter or player.  Rio has opened up a chink of light, allowing us to delve deeper into insight, deliver deeper engagement and drive acquisitions as people follow, play or watch our sport.

A research-led, insight-driven creative brand strategy and campaign will support our work to create A Nation Where Hockey Matters across both participation and engagement with the sport.

A significant part of the work will be in researching the existing hockey family, and regular updates will be posted across England Hockey’s website, social media and LinkedIn.

England Hockey Board Media release

Liverpool teenager plays hockey despite fighting tumours


Nothing is stopping teenager Rebecca from playing hockey despite suffering from large tumours in her legs.

Rebecca has three large tumours growing in her left hip; “and is in a lot of pain at the moment.” Her dad Raymond explains.

“It is a big six/nine month for Rebecca as we hope the tumours don’t start growing again.  She will be on crutches for eight weeks after the surgery at the weekend and will need to undergo intensive walking rehabilitation for six months as she will be left in a lot of pain and with a large nine inch scare across her the top of her left leg, hip and lower back.”

Rebecca has been fighting the pain so she can play her beloved sport; she finished the season with 11 goals for the ladies 5s team for Hampstead and Westminster, finishing second in the Middlesex Division 1 goal scorers. Ray gushes at how proud he is of his brave daughter ‘My Wife, Nikki and I are so proud of this goal scoring feat considering that during the past season the tumours that Rebecca has in her hip we growing larger and larger.’

Dad Raymond has been so inspired by his daughter’s bravery he has decided to take on the mammoth challenge to help raise funds for his daughter rehabilitation, walking 185 miles on the 8th of May where he will start from Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital in Stanmore, London, where Rebecca is being treated for cancer, to Arrowe Park Hospital in Birkenhead, where Rebecca was born in 1999.

Raymond continued; “I will get to Birkenhead on Friday 12th May 2017, and meet Rebecca and Nikki (my wife) there then head to the last game of the Season for Everton FC as we are big Everton fans, to do some fundraising. This is some mammoth daily walking but well worth it for my daughter! If you wish to donate please find my donation page here.”

We want to wish Rebecca all the best and the same to her Dad, Raymond.

England Hockey Board Media release

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