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News for 18 May 2017

All the news for Thursday 18 May 2017

Black Sticks seal series win over India

Photo: www.photosport.nz

The Vantage Black Sticks Women have secured a series win over India following a 3-2 result in the third test in Pukekohe.

It was a much closer game following on from Tuesday night’s 8-2 blowout, with India putting considerable pressure on the Kiwis.

The final result gives New Zealand an unassailable 3-0 lead in the series with two games still to play on Friday and Saturday in Hamilton.

Head coach for the series Sean Dancer said it was a messy performance but pleasing to come away with a win.

“It was much closer tonight, all credit to India they came out and played well. They were aggressive with everything they did and it made the game tighter and more compact,” he said.

“The frustration for us is the quality of our execution wasn’t there and we made far too many mistakes on the ball.

“We need to sharpen things up for the final two games, with no game tomorrow we have a chance to nut things out and make sure we finish the series on a high.”

India made a solid start to the match and had the Kiwis under pressure early, opening the scoring in the ninth minute when Deep Ekka converted a penalty corner attempt.

New Zealand struck back late in the first quarter after being awarded a stroke for intentional obstruction on Madison Doar in the circle, Ella Gunson calmly slotting home from the spot.

Just minutes later the Black Sticks took their first lead of the match when Stacey Michelsen put a hard shot across the face for Deanna Ritchie to deflect past the keeper.

Down by one goal, India lifted the intensity after the halftime break while both teams continued creating chances but struggled to put them away.

The Black Sticks pulled out to a 3-1 advantage in the 39th minute thanks to a nice play from Shiloh Gloyn who sent a strong reverse shot at goal which deflected into goal off a defender’s stick.

India threatened to mount a late comeback with a field goal from Monika in the 59th minute but New Zealand’s defence held firm.

With the Pukekohe leg of the series now wrapped up, both teams head south to Hamilton for tests four and five on Friday and Saturday at the Gallagher Hockey Centre. Both games will be broadcast live and free on the Vantage Black Sticks Facebook page at 2:00pm (NZT).

Presale tickets for both remaining tests are still available through the Vantage Black Sticks website (www.blacksticks.co.nz)

VANTAGE BLACK STICKS 3: (Ella Gunson, Deanna Ritchie, Shiloh Gloyn)
INDIA 2: (Deep Ekka, Monika)

Hockey New Zealand Media release

Black Sticks seal series

By David Leggat

Ella Gunson in action for the Black Sticks during the series against India. Photo / photosport.nz

It was a different type of game, and a far different scoreline from 24 hours earlier for New Zealand in their third women's hockey international against India in Pukekohe tonight.

Following their 8-2 belting of the Indians at the same venue on Tuesday night, the Black Sticks wrapped up their five-game series against the tourists with a 3-2 win.

Where 12th ranked India committed plenty of players forward to try and press New Zealand into errors a day ago, tonight they sat back more, made the fifth-ranked Black Sticks come to them and it worked far better.

Experienced midfielder Ella Gunson got New Zealand on the board with a penalty stroke, to equalise a ninth-minute strike from Deep Ekka.

By halftime New Zealand were in front through a Deanna Ritchie deflection.

Midfielder Shiloh Gloyn, with a neat reverse stick shot, grabbed the third New Zealand goal nine minutes after halftime before Monika got the second Indian goal from a penalty corner just before the end.

The squad is doing plenty of swapping about during the series, giving players as much game time as possible. The down side of that is it can cause problems for players in terms of unfamiliarity.

''It's the theme of the series. We're constantly changing the lineup," Gunson said.
''India fell away on their press whereas the day before they were quite aggressive. It was quite different for us.

''Credit to them, they played it well, they threw something at us and we need to learn to adapt and change."

Gunson acknowledged the challenging aspect of swapping players about.

''But it's good for us to learn to adapt and play the game as you see it."

Game four and five of the series is in Hamilton on Friday and Saturday.

The New Zealand Herald

Black Sticks women's team secure series win with victory over India in Pukekohe

Black Sticks celebrate Deanna Ritchie's goal against India. PHOTOSPORT

The Black Sticks women's team beat India 3-2 in Pukekohe on Wednesday night to win the series with two games to spare.

After Tuesday night's 8-2 blowout, India were far more competitive and took the lead through Deep Ekka before Ella Gunson, Deanna Ritchie and Shiloh Gloyn scored for New Zealand.

Monika's 59th minute goal for India made for a tense finish with the score at 3-2, but the Black Sticks held on to take an unassailable 3-0 lead in the series with two games - both in Hamilton - to be played on Friday and Saturday.

Head coach Sean Dancer described New Zealand's performance as messy but sealing the series was all that mattered.

"It was much closer tonight. All credit to India they came out and played well," he said.

"They were aggressive with everything they did and it made the game tighter and more compact."The frustration for us is the quality of our execution wasn't there and we made far too many mistakes on the ball."We need to sharpen things up for the final two games, with no game tomorrow we have a chance to nut things out and make sure we finish the series on a high."

The Black Sticks led 2-1 at half-time after coming back from Ekka's opener, with Gunson scoring from the penalty spot before Ritchie gave them the lead for the first time.

Gloyn's deflected shot made it 3-1 after 39 minutes and Monika's late goal proved to be too little, too late for India, as New Zealand went 3-0 ahead in the five-game series.


Indian women put up a strong fight in 2-3 loss to New Zealand

PUKEKOHE (New Zealand): Indian women's hockey team fought till the final hooter but went down 2-3 to New Zealand in the third game of the five-match series.

The hosts are now 3-0 up in the series. After suffering a 2-8 loss in their previous game, the Indian women came out strongly today.

They looked a dangerous unit, putting up a structured performance with good attack, strong long drives, cross field passes, which put the hosts on the backfoot and constantly kept them in the hunt.

The visitors played aggressively right from the word go and their strategy paid off in the first quarter when they found an early 1-0 lead.

It was Deep Grace Ekka who converted a hard-hit penalty corner in the ninth minute after her first attempt found the foot of a New Zealand defender.

But the hosts were quick to equalise with Ella Gunson converting a penalty stroke in the 13th minute.

The Black Sticks ended the first quarter with a 2-1 lead with Deanna Ritchie scoring a field goal in the 15th minute. She was well assisted by captain Stacey Michelsen to score New Zealand's second goal.

India found two good opportunities in the second quarter to score an equaliser when they earned back-to-back PCs in the 26th minute. But the higher-ranked New Zealand came up with textbook defence strategy to clear Indian skipper Rani's strike.

Rani played a crucial role for India as she made space in the striking circle on several occasions, going for her trademark reverse-hit on goal but New Zealand keeper Sally Rutherford promptly denied the Indian skipper of a successful strike.

New Zealand scored their third goal through Shiloh Gloyn in the 39th minute.

India keeper Savita was kept busy by Kiwi strikers through the third quarter. She did well to keep New Zealand from taking further lead.

With three minutes remaining in the third quarter, Savita made a crucial save when New Zealand bagged a PC.

Unlike their second match against New Zealand on Tuesday when maximum goals were scored by the hosts in the last quarter, Indian defence was rock solid to deny any goal in the final 15 minutes of the match.

With little less than two minutes remaining for the final hooter, India won a PC in the 59th minute. A cleverly planned and executed variation saw Rani pass the ball to Monika who made no mistake in sending the ball inside the goal.

The dying minutes of the match saw Indian women make desperate attempts to find space and go for a draw but with time ticking away rapidly, they had to settle for a 2-3 result.

The two teams will play their fourth match on May 19.

The Times of India

Defender Sunita Lakra completes a century

Sunita Lakra. Photo Credit: Shiv Kumar Pushpakar

India’s premier defender Sunita Lakra completed the milestone of playing 100 international matches for the country, when she took field against New Zealand in the third of the five match series, here today.

Lakra made her international debut in 2009 and since has been a backbone of the Indian team. She currently leads India’s defence in New Zealand along with Deep Grace Ekka, Namita Toppo, Sushila Chanu, Udita and Gurjit Kaur.

Born in Odisha, Lakra has climbed the ranks in Indian hockey with significant performances in the 17th Asian Games, 2016 Rio Olympics and was also instrumental in India’s successful outing at the fourth Women’s Asian Champions Trophy and Women’s Hockey World League Round 2 in Canada.

“Sunita is a very hardworking and talented player. She has proven her place in the team with several important performances and I congratulate her on completing her 100th international match today,” Mushtaque Ahmad, Secretary General, Hockey India, said.

“She has been an inspiration for young, budding players in Odisha and other parts of the country who are aspiring to take up hockey professionally. I wish her the very best for future matches,” Ahamd added.

The Hindu

Hockey World League Semi-Finals: London's Calling

England will go head to head with Olympic champions Argentina this June Photo: FIH/WSP (Hockey World Cup 2014)

With less than one month until the first of the Men's Hockey World League Semi-Finals bursts into action and it is with great anticipation that England waits to host this exciting, Hockey World Cup 2018 qualifier.

Chief Executive of England Hockey is Sally Munday and she is positively bubbling with enthusiasm as the count-down progresses. “The Hockey World League is another major event that we are bringing to London and is a hugely important for our men’s team as they seek to qualify for next year’s World Cup. The fan base for hockey in England is growing and we are really looking forward to showcasing top level international hockey back at Olympic Park in London this June.”

An exciting roster of 10 teams will line up in London, seeking the dual prize of a place in the prestigious end-of-year Hockey World League Final, plus the chance to gain automatic qualification for the blue riband event – the 2018 World Cup. Important ranking points will also be a valuable asset for the teams competing in England's capital from 15-25 June.

There will be some interesting match-ups during this competition. Some of the lower-ranked nations are little known quantities on the wider global scene, so preparations will have been challenging.

India for example, the team ranked number sixth in the FIH Hero World Rankings, last played Scotland (World ranking 23) in 2014 at the Commonwealth Games, when the score was 6-2 to India. The Asian champions have not faced the resurgent Blue Sticks since and may face a tricky opening Pool B match at the hands of Scotland.

Argentina come to England as the team ranked number one in the world. The last time they played in London was 2012, where they finished a disappointing 10th in the 2012 Olympic Games. What a turn around Carlos Retegui and his men have achieved in the intervening five years. Bronze medallists at the 2014 World Cup, 2016 Olympic Champions and the side that knocked Australia from the number one spot after three years of Kookaburra dominance. There is little doubt Argentina will be the team to beat in Pool A, but they will face some tricky competition as all the teams will be after that all-important World Cup qualification.

When it comes to style of play, fans at the Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre in London's Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park will be in for a treat. The five teams from the Asian continent will offer a very different playing style to their European and north American counterparts.

The silky skills and high tempo but unpredictability of Pakistan (WR:13) will be in stark contrast to the smooth passing and structured play of the Netherlands (WR: 4), another mouth-watering encounter on day one of competition.

The other three teams from Asia - Korea, Malaysia and China, ranked 12,14, and 18 respectively, are teams that have been making sure and steady progress over the past few years. Malaysia and China both qualified for this event via the Hockey World League Round 2 in Bangladesh, where they impressed with their ability to create scoring opportunities and maintain composure under pressure.

There will be a strong contingent of Canadian fans in London and the team currently ranked 11th will hope to repay their faith with a repeat of 2015, when they made it to the Hockey World League Finals and qualified for Rio 2016.

If London is one of the most multi-cultural cities in the world, then the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park is at the very hub of multiculturalism. It’s not just the players who are representing hockey from around the globe, it is the fans that turn out in their numbers sporting the colours and flags of their nations; it's the press and broadcast media who spread words and pictures about the drama and excitement that is taking place on the pitch.

This Hockey World League Semi-Final event is a great way to start a busy few weeks of hockey action and fans everywhere can look forward to watching, cheering and celebrating the achievements of their favourite players. For more information about the Men's Hockey World League Semi-Final in London and how to buy tickets, click here. And for more information about all the Hockey World League Semi-Final events taking place this summer, click here.


FIH site

Manpreet named captain for HWL semis in England

New Delh: Halfback Manpreet Singh was today named the Indian hockey captain for next month's 3 Nations Invitational Tournament in Germany and the World League Semi Final in England after regular skipper P R Sreejesh was ruled out due to a knee injury.

The 3 Nations Invitational Tournament will be played in Dusseldorf, Germany from June 1 followed by the Hockey World League Semi Final in London starting June 15.

The 18-member team will play two matches each against hosts Germany and Belgium before arriving in London for the Hockey World League Semi Final where India are grouped with Canada, Netherlands, Pakistan and Scotland in Pool B.

The team led by Manpreet, with Chinglensana Singh Kangujam as his deputy, will see Pardeep Mor, Kothajit Singh join the defence line along with Surender Kumar, Rupinder Pal Singh and Harmanpreet Singh, Hockey India stated in a press release.

Harmanpreet and Rupinder will continue to be the penalty corner specialists while Akash Chikte and Vikas Dahiya will carry the onus of goalkeepers for the team in the absence of Sreejesh.

Sreejesh sustained an injury while playing against Australia in the league stage at the 26th Sultan Azlan Shah Cup Tournament.

The midfield will feature S K Uthappa, Satbir Singh, Harjeet Singh, Chinglensana Singh and the experienced Manpreet and Sardar Singh. Both Uthappa and Satbir were rested for the previous tournament in Malaysia where the team won a bronze medal.

The Indian forward-line will see Ramandeep Singh come back into the fold, joining SV Sunil, Akashdeep Singh, Talwinder Singh and Mandeep Singh in the attack.

"The idea was to bring in a couple of changes in positions after Sultan Azlan Shah Cup. Like I had said before, there are three tours this year including Azlan Shah Cup where we would like to give opportunities to younger players," chief coach Roelant Oltmans said.

"Though we are taking a few players who are not that experienced, we still want to do well and the aim is to finish in Top 2 at the Men's Hockey World League Semi Final and I look forward to see how the boys will perform against big teams, he added.

According to the Dutchman, the biggest takeaway from the season opener in Malaysia was the team's improvised style of play and ball possession.

"...we were fast and also when we compared statistics, we had better ball possession (about 62 per cent on an average) which is a big improvement from previous years.

"But I would like to see our conversion rate in field goals and PC to improve from a 20 per cent and 24 per cent respectively," stated Oltmans.

The team resumed the national camp on May 14 and will continue till May 28 before leaving for Germany on May 29.

The Squad:

Goalkeepers: Akash Chikte, Vikas Dahiya

Defenders Pardeep Mor, Kothajit Singh, Surender Kumar, Rupinderpal Singh, Harmanpreet Singh

Midfielders: Chinglensana Singh Kangujam (Vice Captain), S K Uthappa, Satbir Singh, Sardar Singh, Manpreet Singh (Captain), Harjeet Singh

Forwards: Ramandeep Singh, SV Sunil, Talwinder Singh, Mandeep Singh, Akashdeep Singh.

Press Trust of India

Canadian team named for Men’s World League Semi-Final in London

Shaheed Devji

Canada’s men celebrate a shootout win over New Zealand at the 2015 World League Semi-Final in Buenos Aires, Argentina. The win eventually secured Canada’s spot at the 2016 Olympic Games. (Credit: FIH)

Eighteen men have been named to the Canadian men’s field hockey team that will compete at the International Hockey Federation’s World League Semi-Final in London, England from June 15-26, 2017.

The Canadian team features 17 players who competed in World League Round 2 in Trinidad and Tobago, where Canada finished second this April.

The eighteenth player on the World League Semi-Final team is Floris van Son, who was injured during World League Round 2, and has been playing his club hockey in the Netherlands.

The team also features 12 players who represented Canada the 2016 Olympic Games in Brazil, including captain Scott Tupper, veteran midfielder Mark Pearson, and goalkeeper David Carter.

The London World League Semi-Final is a ten-team tournament where the top five finishers of the competition will join host India, the top five teams from the Johannesburg, South Africa World League Semi-Final, and the winners of the various Continental Championships, as the 16 teams for the 2018 Men’s World Cup in India.

Canada – currently ranked 11th in the world – enters the tournament as the 7th ranked team and is grouped in Pool B with the Netherlands (4), India (6), Pakistan (13), and Scotland (23).

The Canadians open pool play against Pakistan on June 16th at 6:00pm local time. Canada’s full World League Semi-Final schedule and latest results can be found here.

The last time Canada competed at the World League Semi-Final was in 2015 in Buenos Aires, Argentina, where the Canadians all but guaranteed their spot at the 2016 Olympic Games by finishing fourth on the shoulders of a memorable shootout victory in the tournament quarterfinal against New Zealand.

Thirteen of the 18 players headed to London in June were took part in the historic game which featured 15 shots in the shootout. Canadian keeper David Carter was named Goalkeeper of the Tournament.

Prior to the World League Semi-Final in London, the Canadian men will travel to France to play three exhibition matches.

Men’s National Team – 2017 World League Semi-Final

Field Hockey Canada media release

Men’s National Team coach Anthony Farry accepts new position leading Japanese women

Shaheed Devji

After a successful tenure at the helm of the Canadian Men’s National Field Hockey Program, during which he took Canada’s men back to the Olympic Games, Men’s National Team Head Coach Anthony Farry is moving on.

The 43 year-old native of ACT, Australia has accepted a position heading Japan’s Women’s National Program as it prepares to host the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo.

“We are proud of Anthony for what the team has accomplished during his tenure as the leader of our Men’s National program,” says Field Hockey Canada CEO Jeff Sauvé. “He leaves at a time when the program is stronger and our National team has a great deal of momentum.

“Anthony’s new opportunity is a result of his dedication to Field Hockey Canada and our athletes.  We wish him and his family nothing but the best on their next chapter in Japan.”

Farry ends his time with the Canadian men after serving as Assistant Coach from 2011 and most recently as Director of High Performance and Head Coach from 2012.

Chief in his accomplishments with the Men’s National Team was leading Canada back to the Olympic Games after the team failed to qualify for the 2012 Games under previous leadership

“Our time here in Canada has been fantastic and I’ve been exceptionally fortunate to be involved with such a dedicated and driven team and organization. The unwavering commitment to achieving the most out of everything we do has been evident from day one and will continue to make this team successful into the future.

“We love Vancouver as a place to live, it’s been amazing. Our kids are Canadian so there will always be that bond for us in a place like this.”

Under his watch, Canada’s men have climbed the international field hockey ranks, moving up to 11th in the world.

In the interim, current Men’s National Team Assistant Coach Paul Bundy will take over Head Coaching duties as Canada’s men continue to prepare for the 2017 Hockey World League Semi-Final in London, where they have an opportunity to qualify for the 2018 World Cup.

Field Hockey Canada media release

T&T target Pan Am Cup silver

By Mark Pouchet

GROWING IN CONFIDENCE: Trinidad and Tobago men’s hockey goalkeeper Andrey Rocke, left, blocks a shot by Argentina’s Joaquin Menini during their Pan Am Games encounter on July 14, 2015, in Toronto. — Photo: AP

Trinidad and Tobago senior men’s hockey team coach Glen “Fido” Francis will add three more experienced players to his roster ahead of the Pan-Am Cup to be hosted in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, USA, from August 4-13.

And Team TTO is seeking to improve on their bronze medal effort in 2013, a position that could put them in line to qualify for the FIH World Cup.

Francis resumed the senior men’s national training programme yesterday at the National Hockey Centre in Tacarigua, six weeks after their last campaign at the FIH Men’s League Round 2 Tournament, in which T&T finished fifth.

The Pan Am Cup will feature world No.1 ranked team Argentina, The winner of this tournament will qualify for the FIH World Cup and the top six teams will qualify for the Pan American Cup in 2021.

Trinidad Express

Viva la Hockey Revolution: week of hockey gains great support across France

From Nord Pas de Calais to Cote d’Azur, sports clubs across France will be bustling this week with the sound of sticks, balls and whistles as hundreds of women and girls get out and active at their local hockey clubs.

The week (15-21 May) will include a range of fun activities, some competitive league-based events, visits and talks from well-known hockey stars and the chance for people to sign up with their local hockey club, as players, officials and volunteers.

Back in 2014, the French Hockey Federation (FFH) launched its National Hockey Day, to attract women and girls to the sport. Just two years later and the event had grown in size, reach and impetus to become a week-long event that attracts participants across the nation. This year will be the second edition of the National Women’s Hockey Week, and it promises to be bigger and better than ever.

The goal, as outlined by the FFH, is to make hockey part of the nation’s sporting fabric, with a numeric target of 33 per cent of females playing hockey at some level.

“The Federation hopes that, through this project, the values of French hockey are embodied,” says the FFH website. These values are: conviviality, elegance and style, and openness and diversity. All ideals that mirror those of the FIH and its 10-year Hockey Revolution strategy and fully embrace hockey's 'Equally Amazing' motto. 

An advert posted on Facebook by Mathilde Grunbaum of Racing Club de France is typical. She said: “100 per cent girls from 5 to 77 years are invited to take part in the hockey festival at Racing Club de France.”

This year, the FFH is also joining forces with the Ministry of Youth and Sport to promote hockey access for all groups, with the programmes in many clubs and sports centres including activities for athletes with disabilities.

The National Women’s Hockey Week provides opportunities for people of all abilities to pick up a stick and join in hockey activities in the local area – making the sport accessible both in terms of ability and locality. Regional committees and local leagues all throw their weight behind the project in an effort to make this event as successful as possible.

Besides the overarching aims outlined above, the FFH is also hoping to meet some very concrete and measurable targets. The FFH will seek to run a minimum of 50 events across the country, with at least 5,000 participants in total. Once the week is completed, the FFH hopes that there will be a minimum of 500 new participants as a result of the activities and hockey promotion.

The week-long programme also has the backing of elite athletes, umpires and officials, many of whom will be joining in the activities and explaining how they got into hockey and the many benefits they have gained from a life involved in the sport.


FIH site

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