All the news for Wednesday 26 July 2017
Teams all set to star on the Spooky Nook stage
2017 Pan American Cups - August 4-13
It has been 21 years since a major international hockey event took place on USA soil – and that was just one part of a multi-sport event, the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games. From 4-13 August, the Pan American Cups will be the first field hockey-only major event to take place in the USA. Add to that notable first, the fact that this is the first dual-gender Pan American Cups, with men and women’s matches taking place on alternate days, and you just know this is going to be memorable occasion in the PAHF’s timeline.
It is fitting that the host venue is USA Field Hockey’s showpiece venue, Spooky Nook, where the USA women train and play and, for the members of the 15 participating teams and match officials, the sports specific centre promises to offer a fantastic competitive experience. For the PAHF, the 2017 event will be a showcase for the sport, with a number of teams competing off the back of some very promising Hockey World League performances.
So, with just a few days to go before the opening ceremony, let’s take a look at Pan American Cups of yesteryear and the teams who are hoping to lift the trophies on 12 and 13 August. For these nations, the prize at stake is not solely seeing their name on the roll of honor, there are also the more prosaic matters of qualification for the 2018 men’s and women’s World Cups and the 2021 Pan American Cup.
Until the introduction of the Pan American Cup, in 2000 for the men and a year later for the women, the only ways a team could qualify for the Hockey World Cup was via a World Cup qualifier or if they had finished in a high position at the previous edition of the World Cup. With the advent of the Hockey World League (HWL), a new route to qualification has opened up – depending upon placings at the HWL Semi-Finals and world rankings – but the Pan American Cup is the official PAHF continental qualifier for the World Cup. Prior to the HWL, the Pan American Cup also served as a way to decide which teams could contest the World Cup qualifiers, usually the teams who finished second to fifth in the Pan Am Cup would go on to contest the qualifiers.
So it is easy to see why the continental qualifier is important. It is a simple way to determine a nation’s superiority in the PAHF region and give a straightforward route to the next World Cup - in this case in 2018 in India [men] and England [women].
Since its inception in 2000, the men’s Pan Am Cup has attracted 15 different nations. These range from Argentina, Canada, Chile, Mexico and USA who have competed in all four previous editions and will also be appearing at Spooky Nook this time around, to nations such as Peru, Netherlands Antilles, Jamaica and Cuba, who are all one-timers at the event. Cuba has the distinction of being the only men’s team with a 100 per cent success rate. They entered the event in 2000 – held in Havana – won it after a 2-1 result over Canada, and have not appeared since.
Likewise, in the women’s event, 14 different teams have participated, with just Argentina, Canada and USA appearing at all four previous editions. Barbados, Bermuda, Guyana and Venezuela are among those with only one appearance. This year will herald Brazil women’s debut at the event.
Taking a trawl back through the Cup’s 17-year history, one striking thing is how the world order of hockey has changed. In front of a home crowd in 2000, Cuba breezed through the men’s event, racking up 51 goals in the pool matches that included a 14-0 demolition of both Peru and Barbados and a 3-1 win over Argentina. The final was a close affair between Canada, who had beaten Argentina in the semi-finals on penalty strokes, and Cuba, who had continued to score freely with a 8-0 win over Chile.
In the 2004 edition, which acted as a qualifying event for the 2006 Monchengladbach World Cup in Germany, it was Los Leones who dominated. To be more accurate, it was the firepower of Jorge Lombi, with 26 goals to his name, that propelled Argentina towards their first Pan American Cup. The final was against Canada and, in a repeat of the 2000 edition, the Red Caribous lost 2-1.
That scoreline was reversed four years later in Chile when Canada met the United States in the final. After two silver medals, the Canadians were determined to take gold but they were made to fight all the way. In the semi-finals, they met a resolute Argentina and the match went to extra time, with Canada coming from behind twice. At full-time it was 3-3 and Connor Grimes became Canada’s hero when he scored the winner in the 80th minute.
In the final, Canada met USA and again they had to fight back from 1-0 down to take the match to extra time. This time Paul Wetlaufer was the hero as he scored the winner to hand Canada a well-deserved title.
The fourth edition was held in Canada, with the winner guaranteed a place at the 2014 World Cup in The Hague. This was the first sighting of the exciting team that was beginning to develop in the blue and white colors of Argentina. A year later the same players were wearing bronze medals around their necks as they surprised the hockey world with a bronze medal at the World Cup. Gold at Rio was the culmination of this team’s talents and ambitions. Again, it was Canada who suffered the heart-break of a loss in the final, 4-0 to Argentina – all four goals scored by the precocious talent of Gonzalo Peillat.
The women’s events have been dominated by three teams. With one exception, the results have been Argentina, USA and Canada – gold, silver, bronze respectively. The one change to the order was Chile’s bronze medal at the expense of Canada in 2009. While Argentina might have bragging rights at this event, there is evidence that the other teams are closing the gap. In a thrilling match in 2009, USA held Las Leonas to a 2-2 draw and sent the game to penalty strokes. At the end of the first round of penalty strokes, the score stood at 4-4 so the match went to sudden death. Rachel Dawson was the unfortunate stroke taker who missed and Noel Barrionuevo stepped up to slot home to give Argentina the title.
In the 2013 edition, held in Mendoza, it was again the USA who were determined to halt the Argentine dominance of the event. It was a closely fought, competitive match with just one goal separating the teams – a 55th minute goal from Delfina Merino.
So what to expect this time around in the men’s and women’s events?
The prospect of some of the top teams in the world converging on Spooky Nook is enormously exciting but also raises the concern that some of the lower-ranked teams may concede high numbers of goals. Tournament Director Paula Parks sees nothing but positives in the presence of the top teams: “What player in the world wouldn’t find it an amazing experience to share a pitch with Olympic gold medalists,” she says. “To see how they play, how they train, how they get to be where they are, that is a real privilege.”
It is also an opportunity for developing teams to see where they currently stand in the world’s hockey hierarchy. For teams such as Canada men and Chile women, who both competed at this year’s HWL Semi-Finals, it is a chance to see how they have closed the gap on the top 10 teams. For Canada – already qualified for the 2018 Odisha World Cup – it is also an opportunity to play in a tournament format, which is all part of a team’s long-term preparation for the World Cup.
In the men’s event, the team to beat will be Argentina. Ranked number one in the world and Olympic gold medalists, this is a team that is cresting a wave and coach Carlos Retegui will want to keep the momentum his team has created. Argentina recently booked their tickets to the World Cup in Bhubaneswar, India, after advancing to the championship match at the FIH Men’s Hero Hockey World League Semi-finals in London, England. They lost to The Netherlands, but they will be determined to defend their 2013 PAC title.
Canada men are ranked 11th in the world and a victory over India [ranked 6th] at the same HWL Semi-final event is a clear signal that the team’s qualification for Rio 2016 was no flash-in-the-pan. This is a team with ambition and quality within its ranks.
A bronze medal at HWL Round Two was reward for USA’s progress in recent seasons. Ranked 26th in the world, the gap in rankings does not point to a drop in competitiveness. This is a team with a lot to prove in front of a home crowd.
One ranking place lower is Chile [27th] and three bronze medals at the past three Pan American Games indicates that the South American country is used to performing in tournaments, and beating higher ranked opponents. Add to this a failure to perform at the HWL Round Two in Tacarigua, Trinidad and Tobago, and you have a team determined to put things right and finish among the medals.
Brazil [29th] gained entry to PAC after winning gold at the 2015 Pan American Challenge in Chiclayo, Peru. They finished fourth at the 2015 Pan American Games and, while their performance at the recent Rio 2016 Olympic Games was not up to par, it provided an invaluable opportunity to play tournament hockey against higher-ranked teams.
Hosting a HWL Round Two event in April, Trinidad and Tobago [33rd] faced USA in the quarterfinal. Although they fell 3-2 in the shootout round, Trinidad and Tobago are a team that can prove a threat to higher ranked teams.
No. 41 Mexico and No. 48 Venezuela both qualified for PAC from the Pan American Challenge. Mexico recently hosted and participated in the FIH Hockey World League Round 1 in Salamanca, Mexico in September 2016. Of the four-team event, Mexico showed impressive goal scoring abilities on their route to claim third. Venezuela also competed in Round 1 as well as the South American Championship in Chiclayo, Peru, in 2016, where they came second to Chile.
On the women’s side, the two outstanding teams are the world number three team, Argentina and the home side and sixth-ranked team USA.
Having claimed every women’s Pan American Cup title since the event’s establishment, Las Leonas punched their tickets to the FIH women’s Hockey World Cup in London, England, at the FIH Hockey World League Semi-finals in Johannesburg, South Africa. For many observers, the Argentina team of the past few months is one that has re-discovered its way after a poor performance in the 2016 Olympics. Retirements and changing personnel had disrupted the team but a sparkling HWL Semi-final campaign, combined with a demolition of England in an earlier test series, indicates that Argentina are the form team at the moment.
In the past few years, USA hockey has been on the move, with gold at the HWL Semi-Finals in Johannesburg the pinnacle of their recent achievements. The team has climbed the rankings, winning back-to-back Pan American Games titles (2011 and 2015) and a bronze medal at the 2016 Champions Trophy in London, England. The team also out-performed their PAHF rivals Argentina at the Rio 2016 Olympics, beating them in the pool stages and finishing higher in the event [fifth/seventh]. USA has the ability, self-belief and work rate to beat any of the world’s top ranked teams.
Canada women, ranked 19th in the world, have had a roller-coaster in recent seasons. On their day, they are very good and can challenge the best; on a bad day they underperform – a fifth place finish at the HWL Round Two in West Vancouver, Canada, was one such occasion. But this is a team that has recent experience against higher-ranked opponents and a podium place is well within their reach.
Chile (20th) comes to PAC after earning a silver at HWL Round 2 in Vancouver, Canada in April. They lost in the final to India in a shootout (3-1) but the result took them to the HWL Semi-finals in South Africa where they were in the same pool as Argentina and USA. Chile finished pool play with one win over the higher ranked host nation but the experience will have proved invaluable to this progressive team.
Also competing at the FIH Hockey World League Round Two in West Vancouver, Canada were Uruguay (23rd) and Mexico (30th). Facing off against each other in the quarterfinal round, Uruguay came out victorious before falling to Chile in the semifinals to earn fourth. Mexico went on to claim sixth place.
At 41st, Brazil are the lowest ranked and least internationally experienced side. They won the 2015 Pan American Challenge against Barbados, which was a qualifier for this event. The beauty of this tournament is that it gives teams such as Brazil a chance to compete on an inspirational sporting stage, and that experience can never be underestimated.
Men’s World Rankings
No. 1 Argentina
No. 11 Canada
No. 26 USA
No. 27 Chile
No. 29 Brazil
No. 33 Trinidad & Tobago
No. 41 Mexico
No. 48 Venezuela
Women’s World Rankings
No. 3 Argentina
No. 6 USA
No. 19 Canada
No. 20 Chile
No. 23 Uruguay
No. 30 Mexico
No. 41 Brazil
Pan American Hockey Federation media release
10 Days From Pan American Cups
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – Just 10 days remain before some of the best field hockey talent in the world descend upon Spooky Nook Sports, The Home of Hockey, in Lancaster, Pa. for the 2017 Pan American Cups (PAC).
With 10 days to go, now’s your chance to watch the U.S. Men’s and Women’s National Teams play with the Team USA Supporter ticket package. The package allows entry and seating in Section B for all Team USA matches throughout the PAC tournament, and can be purchased by clicking here.
Nine different countries from the Pan American region will represent and participate across the men’s and women’s tournaments from Friday, August 4 to Sunday, August 13. The USMNT will face off against FIH Hero World Ranked No. 1 Argentina in the team’s opening match August 4 at 7 p.m. ET. Fresh off a thrilling FIH Hockey World League Semifinals championship, the USWNT will begin their quest for PAC gold the following day, August 5, when they take on No. 30 Mexico at 7:00 p.m. ET.
USFHA media release
Pan Am Cup stickmen squad named
The T&T national men’s hockey team will be participating at the 2017 Pan American Cup which will be held in Lancaster, USA, August 4-13.
Coach Glenn Francis scheduled two training sessions, one yesterday and the other tomorrow before the team departs for Lancaster on Saturday.
T&T will play a practice match against Chile before their first match on August 4 against Canada.
The 18 players representing T&T at this tournament are as follows:
Akim Toussaint (Captain), Jabari Perez (Paragon), Kwan Browne (Notre Dame), Shaquille Daniel, Dylan Francis (TTDF), Kristien Emmanuel, Tariq Marcano, Teague Marcano, Andrey Rocke (GK), Kwasi Emmanuel (GK), Daniel Byer, Lyndell Byer (Malvern), Jordan Vieira, Che Modeste (Fatima), Marcus Pascal (QPCC), Michael II O’Connor, Brian Garcia, Arielle Bowen (Petrotrin)
Trinidad & Tobago Express
No Hockey India League in 2018
HI insists it will be back in 2019, but uncertainty continues
It’s official. There will be no Hockey India League (HIL) in 2018 with Hockey India (HI) deciding to give the league a break next year and return in 2019.
The decision was taken at the Hockey India Governing Committee meeting here on Tuesday. Speculation on the future of the league had been floating for a while now, citing various reasons including franchise disinterest and financial viability.
However, the federation is insistent that the break was only due to a clash of dates with the Indoor World Cup next year and it was not the end of the road for what has been arguably the most popular professional league in the sport among the players worldwide.
“It wasn’t possible to hold the HIL along with the World Cup and it would make no sense either. Plus there are the Commonwealth Games, the Asian Games and the World Cup. It would have been very difficult for any country, including India, to ensure full participation in all of these and also the HIL. But let me categorically state that the league would be back in 2019, in the same, if not better way,” HI and HIL governing committee member R.P. Singh said. Another HI official admitted that there might be changes in the format, team composition and participation as and when the league returns.
What is interesting is that the dates for the 2018 Indoor World Cup were announced in January even as the HIL was on. Given that the HIL has been part of the FIH calendar since its inception with the world body providing a clear window for it all these years, and the fact that Narinder Batra had already taken charge as the FIH president at the time of announcement, one wonders how both HI and the FIH were unaware of the clash of dates.
Franchises in the dark?
Also, while HI insisted that it had taken all stakeholders on board before finalising the decision, the franchises themselves were surprised by it.
“We have no official communique from them so far. But it definitely is disappointing. We will see how to go about it in future. We have invested a lot in the sport and will continue to do so but past instances anywhere haven’t been too kind to leagues returning after a break. Let’s see,” a representative of the Lucknow franchise, owned by the Sahara Parivar, said.
However JSW Sports, who was expected to come on board as the seventh team from 2018 onwards with Bengaluru franchise, claimed the decision would not affect their plans despite the group being heavily invested in several other sporting leagues in the country.
“We are still interested and we understand the reason given behind the decision. As of now, we are very much there in the mix for the HIL and we look forward to joining the league in 2019,” JSW Sports CEO Mustafa Ghouse said.
The HIL is largely credited for not only providing financial security for both Indian and foreign players but also improving Indian men’s side with the junior team winning a historic 2016 World Cup and the seniors climbing to sixth spot in the world.
However, disinterest and financial constraints from some of the existing team owners had been a concern for the organisers for a while now. While HI has held out hope of a return of the HIL in 2019, the competition, even then would have to be reworked given the fact that teams — barring India — would be busy with the Hockey Pro League for the first six months of the calendar year.
“We felt it is time to review, evaluate HIL success and comeback with a fresh outlook that will benefit the development of the sport further and our franchises and stakeholders,” HI secretary-general and HIL chairman Mohd. Mushtaque Ahmad said. There was no word on the review of the recent performances of the national teams, though.
No Hockey India League next yea
Now there is no speculation. The jury is out. The much awaited Hockey India League (HIL) will not be held next year but will return in 2019 mainly due to clash of dates with Hockey Indoor World Cup. The Indoor world cup for men is a five-day phenomenon to be held in Berlin (Germany) from 7th to 11th February 2018. HIL normally a month long affair in the time bracket of January to March. Hockey India, the mentor and guardian of the globally acclaimed league, is also seemed to have been disturbed by the Hockey Pro League that will start early 2019.
The 2018 edition was much expected, as it was to prelude third player auction. A mere fact that a month long event, which gave monetary relief to at least a hundred top notch players year after year, had to be postponed to accommodate a five-day event in which not all outdoor continental powers participate, is a sad augury.
Now, any hockey lover need to wait for almost two and a half years (28 months) to see HIL play again!
While it gives amble time to overhaul the HIL by Hockey India, the spirit need to be kept to see things roll out as per schedule.
Indoor World Cup is just a five-day event against HIL's longevity (35 days). Obviously, this points to some subterranean currents at play. Global hockey world has again proved they are by the side of amateur brand of hockey rather than to take it to a path of professionalism. The HIL league benefits players not the Clubs or National Federations. They proved they are bigger than the players. As long as this mentality prevails, hockey will wallop in mediocrity.
Hockey India League to return in 2019 with a fresh outlook
OFFICIAL PRESS RELEASE: New Delhi, 25 July 2017: After hosting five successful editions that generated tremendous interest from hockey fans across the globe, the sixth edition of Hockey India League will be hosted in 2019. The tournament's Governing Committee, comprising representatives of Hockey India and other stakeholders, have unanimously decided to schedule the next edition of India's only professional hockey league in 2019 instead of 2018 January and February.
“After five years of successfully organizing the Hockey India League which has greatly helped unearth talent and significantly improved the National Team’s performances at both Junior and Senior level, we felt that it is time to review the League, evaluate its success and comeback with a fresh outlook that will benefit the development of the sport further and our franchises and stakeholders. This decision was made after consultation with all our commercial partners and meeting the contractual obligations of all parties involved,” stated Mohd Mushtaque Ahmad, Chairman Hockey India League and Secretary General, Hockey India.
Ahmad further clarified that this will only be a temporary discontinuation and that the Hockey India League will return in 2019. “Due to a conflict in dates of the schedule of Hockey India League 2018 and a major international tournament which was likely to restrict the participation of international players, it was decided that the best solution was to postpone the conduct of the sixth season of the League. I want to emphasize that we want to resume the League in 2019 albeit with greater prospects to make it more viable financially not only for the stakeholders but also for the players,” he added.
The Hockey India League in these past five years has given rise to players who have gone on to make a name for themselves in World Hockey. The League significantly contributed in the success of the Indian Junior Men’s Team that won the 2016 Junior World Cup while the Indian Men’s Team advanced in the world ranking to a commendable No.6 position. The foreign players too hugely benefited with the League as it has helped them earn monetary benefits playing in the month-long League along side players from different countries. “Hockey India League has undoubtedly been a fantastic platform for players from around the world to showcase their talent and the participating teams thoroughly enjoyed the experience over the last five seasons. The Governing Committee would like to thank everyone involved with the HIL and all those who participated in the first five seasons of the tournament,” expressed Ahmad.
Hockey India League cancelled for 2018
To return in 2019; conflict in dates among the reasons for postponement
After five successful editions, there will be no Hockey India League (HIL) next year and the cash-rich domestic tourmament will only return in 2019 with a fresh outlook, Hockey India said on Tuesday.
The tournament’s Governing Committee, comprising representatives of Hockey India and other stakeholders, have unanimously decided to schedule the next edition of Hockey India League in 2019 instead of 2018 January and February.
“After five years of successfully organizing the Hockey India League, we felt that it is time to review the League, evaluate its success and comeback with a fresh outlook that will benefit the development of the sport,” said Mohd Mushtaque Ahmad, Chairman Hockey India League and Secretary General, Hockey India.
“This decision was made after consultation with all our commercial partners and meeting the contractual obligations of all parties involved,” he added.
There were reports that unhappy franchises and financial concerns may see the end of the Hockey India League after just five seasons.
However, Ahmad clarified that this will only be a temporary discontinuation and that the Hockey India League will return in 2019.
“Due to a conflict in dates of the schedule of Hockey India League 2018 and a major international tournament which was likely to restrict the participation of international players, it was decided that the best solution was to postpone the conduct of the sixth season of the League,” Ahmad said.
“I want to emphasize that we want to resume the League in 2019 albeit with greater prospects to make it more viable financially not only for the stakeholders but also for the players,” he added.
HIL’s 2018 edition cancelled, future uncertain
Hockey India claimed that the move to not hold the HIL next year was taken to review the five seasons of the league. File photo
The future of Hockey India League (HIL) looks jeopardised after only five seaons with the organisers postponing the next edition of the cash-rich tournament to 2019.
Hockey India claimed that the move to not hold the HIL next year was taken to review the five seasons of the league.
But sources aware of the development said the decision was taken after some cash-strapped franchises decided to withdraw from the event.
According to sources present during HI’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) today, at least three franchises were unhappy with the organisers and expressed their inability to be a part of the league any further due to financial issues.
“We don’t know what is in store for the future. But some franchises were unhappy with the organisers, which has assured to bail them out. There are two franchises, which have serious financial issues and one more franchise has also threatened to discontinue participation if there isn’t a relaxation,” a HI official, who can’t come on record told PTI today.
“HI said that the league will return in 2019 but the future looks bleak,” he added.
HI, however, claimed that tournament will return in 2019 with a fresh outlook.
A statement from the organisers said that the tournament’s Governing Committee, comprising representatives of HI and other stakeholders, have unanimously decided to schedule the next edition of HIL in 2019 instead of 2018 January and February.
“After five years of successfully organising the Hockey India League, we felt that it is time to review the league, evaluate its success and comeback with a fresh outlook that will benefit the development of the sport,” HIL chairman and secretary general of HI Mohd Mushtaque Ahmad said.
“This decision was made after consultation with all our commercial partners and meeting the contractual obligations of all parties involved,” he added.
Ahmad clarified that it is a temporary discontinuation and the HIL will return in 2019.
“Due to a conflict in dates of the schedule of Hockey India League 2018 and a major international tournament, which was likely to restrict the participation of international players, it was decided that the best solution was to postpone the conduct of the sixth season of the league,” Ahmad said.
“I want to emphasise that we want to resume the league in 2019 with greater prospects to make it more viable financially not only for the stakeholders but also for the players,” he added.
Even one franchise official too said that all the participating teams have received letter from HI, stating that 2018 edition cannot be held because of unavailability of foreign players as they will be busy throughout the year due to international assignments.
Meanwhile, national players have expressed disappointment over the decision and hoped HIL will return stronger in 2019.
“It is a big blow to Indian hockey. The HIL not only gave financial stability to the players but also gave young domestic players a chance to rub shoulders with the best players of world hockey,” Uttar Pradesh Wizards captain and veteran drag-flicker VR Raghunath said.
“But we have full faith in Hockey India and we are sure they will come out with a new strategy and plan for the league in 2019,” he added.
Canadian 2017 National Championships: Day 7
Alison Lee of the U23 Women’s Ontario team winds up to rip the ball during their gold medal game versus the B.C. Rams.
A week of high level hockey was rounded out as the 2017 National Championships in Surrey, B.C. headed into its seventh day. The sun was shining as the U23 Women’s medal games played on, with fight for the bronze medal up first.
Alberta and the B.C. Lions were up to battle for third place in U23 Women’s Competition in the early morning. The game was decidedly the Lions as they opened the floodgates of goals at the fourth minute mark. Captain Lindsay Cole scored a hat trick and teammates Brittany Smith and Rachel Spouge scored two goals each to lead the team towards their 11-0 win over Alberta to earn bronze.
The gold medal game had the B.C. Rams and Ontario play for the title of National Champs. The game was exciting, with lots of chances for both sides, but it was Ontario who came out on top. Women’s National Team player and Ontario captain Alison Lee led the team towards victory with a hat trick, and teammate Julie Demeester two goals lit up the scoreboard twice to safeguard the gold medal for team Ontario, winning 5-0.
A medal ceremony was then held and the best 11 players of the U23 Women’s tournament were announced:
Name Team Hometown Notes
Rachel Spouge BC Lions West Vancouver
Simran Dhillon BC Lions Vancouver
Lexi deArmond BC Rams Victoria
Alison Lee Ontario Mississauga Leading goal scorer for the U23 Women's tournament with 12 goals
Shannon Periera Ontario Periera
Ingrid Ulrich Alberta Calgary
Jess Britten Alberta Rossland
Rosie Beale BC Rams Victoria
Sydney Shortt Alberta Calgary
Lindsay Cole BC Lions Victoria Second in goal scoring with 7 goals in the 2017 Nationals
Megan Ma BC Rams Vancouver
As the medal ceremonies for the Women’s U23 were ongoing, the Women’s U18 tournament started up again. Alberta and Ontario East squared off in the first conciliation Semi-Final. The well-matched game was a gridlock of no goals for most of the turf time, as play bounced back and forth between teams. It was only until late in the second half that Alberta managed to break through and hit the back of the net with goals from Holly Richmond and Paige Koochin. Alberta took the win 2-0.
Day 7 saw that the U18 Men’s were back on the pitches with an intense Semi-Final game between Alberta and Quebec. The play was arguably back and forth, with both teams well matched for one another. The intense play translated into a high amount of carding we hadn’t seen handed out the entire tournament. A total of eight yellow cards were given out for on field infractions, with Quebec taking most of the calls. A sense of desperation hung over the game as both teams were made bad back checks, extra aggression in tackles – both teams doing whatever they could to get the edge. In the first half, Quebec was the first to light up the scoreboard with a goal converted from a short corner opportunity from Philip Bezzenberger. Three cards were awarded subsequently to Quebec and Alberta found the hole they needed to put up their own numbers. The teams entered the second half tied 1-1. The illegal plays kept on occurring, with the coaches trying to see that the players calmed down on the ball, and on each other. Bezzenberger banked another goal to regain their lead and teammate Alexander Bird doubled it. When the final whistle blew, the exciting game was Quebec’s 3-1, and the team earned the right to play for bronze in Day 8.
In the conciliation round of the U18 Women’s competition the BC Lions played Ontario Select. The first half was fiercely contested by both teams, who were unable to hit the back of the net. The frustrating gridlock was broken halfway through the second half as something finally started to give for the Lions. Jessica Goodfellow banked a goal in at the 51st minute and teammate Natalie Winter topped the lead off four minutes later. The B.C. Lions took the win 2-0.
In the second U18 Men’s Semi Final of the day, Ontario and the B.C. Lions battled it out to, see who would play for gold against the B.C. Rams. Ontario came out of the whistle assuredly, with a goal from Adam Sourges in the first minute. A couple green cards punctuated the rest of the first half, but other than that the match was back and forth. Fired up after half time, the B.C. Lions pushed a goal in from Johnny Jacoby to tie the game up, but Ontario responded in full with three more goals, giving Jagpreet Singh a natural hat trick, and leading team Ontario to a 4-1 win. Ontario goes on to play the B.C. Rams in the gold medal match on Day 8.
Rounding out the afternoon, the U18 Women’s tournament started their Semi-Final battles. Up first was a fight for central Canada when Ontario West and Ontario Central worked for the right to play for the title of National Champions. The first 30 minutes of the game was tight, with both teams working back and forth, each trying to hit the back of the net. Ontario Central led the scoring with two goals from Madeline Osgarby to win 6-0 and head to the gold medal match on Day 8.
In the second Semi Final, the U18 Women’s B.C. Stags and the B.C. Rams fought it out to see who would be representing the west in the gold medal match versus Ontario Central. The two teams were closely matched, but the Rams slowly edged out the Stags to win the Semi-Final game 3-1.
The evening had the Men’s U23 teams return to the turf to play their Semi-Finals. First up was team Bison versus Team Moose. The teams played good, clean hockey in a tight match up. Team Moose earned a short corner in the second, and Floyd Mascarenhas converted the opportunity into the first goal of the game. The goal went unanswered until teammate Jeremie Leclair, in the dying seconds of the game, punctuated team Moose’s lead with a goal of his own, to take the win 2-0, and the right for team Moose to play for gold.
The last game of the evening was would see who would face team Moose in the gold medal game on Day 8. The Grizzlies took on the Marmots on head-to-head, in a match up that saw intense, good hockey, with each team not giving the other much room to breathe. The first three quarters saw no goals, but things started to open up in the fourth when the Grizzlies scored two goals back-to-back from Sunny Aujla. The Marmots responded with two consecutive opportunities they converted into goals themselves, and the game was left tied as time ran out, which made for an exciting finale. The shootout saw the first two shots of each team not make the back of the net, but the Grizzlies managed to fire in their last two, to see that them get into the gold medal match on Day 8.
Day 8 is now upon us, as is the final day of competition in the 2017 National Championships! Goodluck to all the teams playing in the finals today, and congratulations to all for a great tournament. Let’s enjoy this last day of hockey!
Tune in to see the U23 Mens and U18 M/W medal games (except the Women’s U18 bronze game due to time conflict) here.
For the full photo album of the 2017 National Championships head over to our Facebook page.
For tournament schedule, click here.
Australian Hockey League returns to Perth
It has been confirmed that the 2017 Australian Hockey League will take place at the Perth Hockey Stadium from September 28 until October 8.
The league will boast teams from all Australian states and territories, as well as teams from India and New Zealand who will participate in both the men and women’s competition.
The Victorian Vikings and the Queensland Scorchers will be returning to the competition and looking to defend their 2016 titles for the men’s and women’s Australian Hockey League respectively.
India will be sending their national development squads for the AHL, while New Zealand will be sending the squads who are directly behind their national team.
Hockey Australia’s Senior Manager - Events & Operations, David White commented: “We are thrilled to be hosting the 2Australian Hockey League in Perth for the second year running after a successful event in 2016.
“In addition to our states and territories we will have two international teams taking part in both the men's and women's league which is a fantastic addition in providing our state players with some international experience.”
After the success of running the U13 Australian Carnival in conjunction with the Australian Hockey League in 2016, the U13 competition will again be run during the AHL in Perth at Warwick Hockey Centre, Guildford Turf and the Perth Hockey Stadium.
Tickets for the AHL will go on sale shortly, stay tuned to www.hockey.org.au for details.
The full teams taking part in the AHL are as follows:
India Development Squad
New Zealand Futures
TAS Van Demons
India Development Squad
New Zealand Futures
Hockey Australia media release
Chase Sailors battle USIU in hockey league
By BRIAN YONGA
Titus Ngolia of Chase Sailors clears the ball during their Kenya Hockey Union Premier League match against KCAU at City Park Stadium on April 8, 2017. PHOTO | MARTIN MUKANGU | NATION MEDA GROUP
Chase Sailors will be aiming to move away from the relegation zone when they take on United States International University of Africa(USIU-A) in a mid-week Kenya Hockey Union men’s Premier League on Wednesday at the City Park Stadium, Nairobi.
Sailors’ inconsistent form this season has seen them drop to 11th place in the table, two points off the relegation zone. They have won only thrice from 12 matches and will be under pressure to win the 6pm kick-off tie ahead of their final first leg match against fellow strugglers Kenyatta University Vultures on Saturday.
Sailors come up against a USIU side that lies in sixth place and will be out to end the first leg campaign on a high. Chase, who are playing in their second season in the top flight, were thrashed 4-1 by 201 winners Sikh Union Nairobi on their last outing on July 2.
A day earlier (July 1), they had recorded their third win, a 2-1 win over Wazalendo, an inconsistent form that has Sailors coach William Oketch worried.
“Our season is very peculiar, we win one day and then the next we lose. We keep blowing hot and cold and that reflects on our poor position on the standings,” Oketch said on Tuesday.
The former international has called for a response from his charges in their last two games of the first leg.
“We have got to be better and we know we can do better. We need two wins otherwise we will be battling relegation when the second leg starts,” he added. Sailors will look to talismanic striker and Captain George Mutira, who has scored eight of the team’s 15 goals, to lead them against the students.
Collins Asimba will start in goal and will be hoping his defence will be at their best to keep out USIU’s forwards.
A win for Sailors will move them to eighth place, five points away from the relegation zone. USIU on the other hand, will be aiming to move near the top five with victory.
USIU coach Tom Olal has called on his forwards to be more clinical in front of goal.
“We have created many chances but failed to put them away, we have to be sharper infront of goal,” he said.
A win will see the students remain in sixth place but improve their tally to 22 points.
PHF names Jr team management
LAHORE - Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) Tuesday appointed a group of four former captains as the new management of Pakistan junior hockey team.
M Usman Sheikh, M Saqlain and Rehan Butt were named coaches of the team and veteran Mansoor Ahmed will officiate as manager, said a spokesman of the PHF here. They have been assigned the task to groom a new look Pakistan junior team which will be selected from two day trials at different.
“The prime objective of these trials is to give a fair opportunity to the promising players to display their talent in the open trials to be held at three centres simultaneously on July 27 & 28. The trials will be held under the supervision of selectors named by the PHF,” he said.
Mardan Centre: for players from KPK & Islamabad; Selectors: Imtiaz Afridi, Imran Khan, Ehsanullah and Shaukat Ali. Lahore Centre (Johar Town Stadium): for players from Punjab; Selectors: Tahir Zaman, Maqsood Hussain & Imran Butt. Karachi Centre: for players from Sind & Balochistan; Selectors: Qamar Ibrahim, M Ali and M Anees.
Wishes for a speedy recovery to Danny Kerry
England Hockey would like to wish women’s team Head Coach Danny Kerry a speedy recovery after he suffered a heart attack during this month’s Hockey World League Semi Final event in South Africa.
Danny has received the very best medical care at Milpark Hospital in Johannesburg, and he is now returning to the UK for a further period of rest and recovery.
Kerry is expected to return to work in September, with Assistant Coach David Ralph set to ably continue to lead the programme in August, when England defend their EuroHockey Championship title in Amsterdam.
Danny said, “I would like to give my huge thanks and debt of gratitude to Dr Ramjee and the wonderful staff at Milpark for the exceptional care I received whilst in hospital. At the same time I wish to place on record my thanks to our team Doctor, Cath Lester, who took me into hospital and liaised with my family, the team and England Hockey back home. I am sure this was not the role Cath signed up for as a Sports Medic! I would also like to convey how proud I am of how both players and staff continued through the tournament in such a professional manner, particularly during the Saturday I was admitted. Finally, I look forward to some extended time with my wonderful family and friends, to recovering, and to returning to the role I love in due course.”
England Hockey Performance Director Ed Barney added, “First and foremost we wish Danny a speedy and full recovery – Danny’s health has remained our sole and absolute priority. We wish him the very best over the coming weeks as he continues his recovery. The staff and players have operated with consummate professionalism and are a credit to the manner in which the programme has been led by Danny over previous cycles and the past nine months following on from Rio. We wish Danny all the very best over the coming weeks and look forward to him joining the programme in due course when we kick back off after the Europeans later in the year.”
England Hockey Board Media release