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A pair of players with top-level international experience faced off at the University of Victoria as the Vancouver Island Field Hockey Association returned to play Sunday (Jan. 8).
Rebels 1’s Johnny Jacoby, a quality attacker in recent years for Canada’s junior men’s team, and the Mutineers’ Gordie Johnston, a veteran defender for this country’s senior nationals, were on opposite sides of the turf, anchoring competitive division teams looking to get back into game shape after the one-month holiday break.
Both players showed flashes of brilliance with breathtaking carries into the opposing half, with Johnston particularly executing pinpoint passes and well-timed scoops that relieved the pressure. Each got onto the scorecard in the 3-3 tie, with Johnston popping in two goals for Mutineers and Jacoby one for Rebels.
But it was defender Ben Wheatley who wielded the dagger for Rebels (4-4-1) in the game’s dying moments. Having raced to the goalmouth during a short corner play, he tipped a perfectly placed pass behind keeper Colby Gerber to salvage a point for the men in red.
Mutineers led for most of the well-played game, putting together what some considered their best overall outing of the season and earning their first point in eight starts.
Dash Nelson scored the other goal for Rebels while Iosvani Marrero also tallied for Mutineers.
The game was rescheduled from early November, when the U Sports women’s national championships was hosted (and won) by the UVic Vikes.
This weekend’s (Jan. 15) full slate of games opens with Rebels 2 taking on Marauders in a recreational division game at 10:30 a.m. That’s followed by a pair of competitive division contests, Tigers vs. UVic Vikes at noon and a rematch of Mutineers vs. Rebels at 1:30 p.m.
Tigers continue to hold a hammerlock on first, with seven wins and two ties, while yesterday’s tie gave Rebels a two-point margin on the Vikes (3-3-2) for second.
Heading into the final weekend of the fall season in Vancouver Island Field Hockey Association play, defending league and playoff champion Tigers continue to keep opponents at bay, remaining undefeated in eight starts.
But there are signs other teams are getting closer to solving the Tigers riddle.
On Sunday (Dec. 4) the champs scored a slim 4-3 win over Rebels 1 to bolster their lead atop the competitive division standings.
Josh Brown extended his goal-scoring streak to three games since returning to the Tigers roster in November, putting two shots past Rebels keeper Felix Randall to lead the attack. Brown now has five goals on the season.
The winners also got singles from Jesse Kaloti and Vardeep Gill. National program member Johnny Jacoby, making a rare appearance this season, notched a pair to lead Rebels, while Gavin O’Halloran scored once.
For Tigers (6-0-2), the win followed a rare 0-0 draw against UVic Vikes on Nov. 27.
The combination of the Rebels loss and the Vikes’ 4-1 victory over Mutineers pushed UVic (3-2-2) ahead of Rebels into second place.
Grant Simpson scored twice for the Vikes in the win, with singles contributed by Finlay O’Callaghan and Ralph Rietveld.
Mutineers, their depleted numbers boosted with the addition of four players from the club’s Marauders recreational team, were outrun by the young students for most of the game but did manage to score on a short corner when Mark Baggott put one past Colbey Geber.
This Sunday’s matches on the turf at UVic see Rebels 2 take on Hawks in the rec division at 10:30 a.m., followed by Rebels 1 vs. Vikes at noon and Tigers vs. Mutineers at 1:30 p.m.
– Don Descoteau
On the heels of a dramatic 2-1 win that clinched a fourth straight U SPORTS national women’s field hockey championship crown Saturday for the home turf UVic Vikes, the four Vancouver Island Field Hockey Association teams in action kept the drama going Sunday.
Javier Virk’s second goal of the game for Tigers came in the final minute and proved the difference in a 3-2 victory over the men’s Vikes in the day’s thrilling opener.
The defending competitive division champions, who improved to 3-0-1 with the win, never trailed in the contest.
A long lead pass to a waiting Virk deep in Vikes territory saw the sniper convert a breakaway to make it 1-0 in the opening quarter.
The Vikes responded well, pushing for the equalizer almost immediately. It took until the second quarter for their efforts to pay off, however.
Vikes’ Ralph Rietveld carried into the D and created enough space for himself to let go with a back stick shot that sailed over the shoulder of Tigers keeper Tom Pennells and into the top corner.
After the Tigers’ Jesse Kaloti popped home a rebound on a short corner in the third quarter, Rietveld tied it up again on a tip-in.
The Vikes pressed hard as the rain intensified through the fourth quarter, but it was the Tigers who notched the winner barely ahead of the final whistle.
UVic dropped to 1-2-1 with the loss.
Culminating the well-played recreational division game that followed, Marauders’ Brayden Chatlain notched the 2-2 goal on the final play against Hawks, giving his team its first point of the season.
Goals by Bobby Virk and Rajiv Dillon had given Hawks a 2-1 lead in their first non-jamboree game, after Thomas White opened scoring with a shot from the top of the D for Marauders in the first half.
The Nov. 13 schedule sees another two-game card, with Rebels 2 playing Hawks in the rec opener at 10:30 a.m., and Rebels 1 taking on Tigers in the competition division match at noon.
Former Canadian men’s national team head coach Paul Bundy will be in Victoria in parallel with the U SPORTS Women’s Field Hockey Championships to host two clinics – one for athletes and one for coaches. Bundy has over 20 years of experience as a full-time professional coach including over 250 games on the international scene. Bundy qualified the Canadian men’s program for two-consecutive Olympic Games (2016, 2020) and has led the Red Caribou in the 2018 World Cup, three Commonwealth Games, three Pan American Cups, three Pan American Games and he has also coached in three Junior World Cups.
Paul will share his level of Canadian field hockey expertise with athletes and coaches. Sessions include modern techniques and methods to educate and mentor aspiring performance athletes and coaches.
There is a session for athletes (aged 14-21) and coaches (club level, high school level or high performance coaches). Video analysis, guest high performance coaches, review of the first U SPORTS Championship game and more! Get better prepared as an athlete or fill your toolbox as a coach!
Athlete seminars: Nov. 4 (6-7:15pm), Nov. 5 (10-11:15am)
Coach Seminars: Nov. 4 (7:30-8:45pm), Nov. 5 (11:30-12:45pm)
McKinnon Building (Room 150) – University of Victoria
$45.99 + GST
For questions: firstname.lastname@example.org
After a two-year hiatus, the prestigious Bridgman Cup high school field hockey tournament will finally return to the University of Victoria campus this weekend, Friday, Oct. 7 to Sunday, Oct. 9. In addition, it will be the first major event on the newly-laid water-based pitch at UVic that opens just this week.
The tournament brings together several of the province’s best high school girls field hockey programs and is a showcase for island hockey talent. It’s also an opportunity for local officials (technical and umpires) to take part in a three-day tournament. The last edition ran in 2019, while the tournament has been running since 1937.
Island teams taking part this year include Cowichan Secondary, Shawnigan Lake, St. Michael’s University School and Oak Bay, while several historic programs like Handsworth, Collingwood, South Delta, Argyle and Kelowna help round out the 12-team tournament.
The Bridgman Cup is the oldest field hockey tournament in North America. The silver cup donated by Commander Montague Bridgman, was a trophy to be played for annually among the few teams in Victoria and Duncan. Specially designed pins were presented to the winners, the prototype kept on file at Birks, and the pin ceremony tradition continues to this day.
In 2019, Oak Bay won the Bridgman Cup title for the first time since 1937 knocking off Handsworth in an exciting shootout after a 1-1 regulation time score. Also happening at the tournament will be the presentation of the Stephanie Doney (Johnston) Award, last awarded in 2019 to Nora Schrutrup.
This year the tournament is chaired by Shelley Andrews and is organized by a fabulous group of volunteers including Gillian Braun, Nancy Griffin, Denise Hall, Pat Hall, Bunny Hughes, Alanna Martin, Nancy Mollenhauer, Brenda Rushton, Alison Sweeten, Carrie Trumpy, Sandy Zinkowski.
Everyone is encouraged to come out to watch and support the return of one of B.C.’s favourite hockey tournaments. In addition, Hockey King Sports, a Vancouver-based field hockey equipment provider, will be on site on Saturday, Oct. 8.
For the full schedule visit: https://www.bridgmancup.com/schedule
Follow along at: instagram.com/bridgmancup