News and Announcements
Icy conditions and frigid temperatures that prompted UVic to close the turf field all weekend will prolong the holiday break for the Vancouver Island Field Hockey Association.
The league was scheduled to start second-half play on Sunday, Jan. 14, but the field closure will leave players and their teams hoping conditions change in time for the Jan. 21 games.
The Island ladies league cancelled its Saturday games on Thursday and the men’s league followed suit the next day.
UVic indicated it would reassess conditions on Monday, with temperatures forecast to be warmer.
By Ali Baggott
This month is a busy month for island athletes and one island-connected umpire who are set to represent Canada on a very important state – the FIH Olympic Qualifiers.
The Canadian women’s national team drew the qualifier event in Valencia, Spain from Jan 13-21, while the Canadian men’s team are set to compete from Jan. 15-21 in Muscat, Oman. Both teams have already arrived in their respective locations to acclimatize and get some training and test matches in after the holiday break.
Victoria’s Kathleen Leahy (Lynx FHC, UVic Vikes) and Anna Mollenhauer (Lynx FHC, UVic Vikes) alongside Duncan’s Sara Goodman (Cowichan FHC, UBC Thunderbirds) are part of the 18-player roster. On the men’s side, Victoria’s Harbir Sidhu (Tigers FHC, UVic Vikes) has made the squad, while formerly Victoria-based umpire Tyler Klenk was selected to officiate at the Oman event.
Following October’s Pan American Games, hosted in Santiago, Chile, both Canadian sides failed to qualify for the Paris 2024 Olympics as only the continental champions had a direct berth the the major games. Argentina, in their continued dominance, took the seed on both sides. With hosts, France, and five continental champion berths now sealed, that still leaves 6 available slots for the world’s remaining teams to vie for.
There are two FIH Olympic qualifying tournaments per gender and the top three placings in each tournament, each with eight teams, will qualify. The Canadian women will open pool play against Great Britain, before taking on Malaysia and then Spain. Belgium, Ireland, Korea and Ukraine are in their rival pool. Those games are hosted in Valencia, Spain, while the other women’s qualifier is taking place in Ranchi, India.
The Canadian men’s side will be Muscat, Oman, alongside Klenk as an umpire. Canada shares a pool with Germany, New Zealand and Chile, and the other pool includes China, Great Britain, Malaysia and Pakistan.
It will be no easy feat to compete in these gruelling events but the prize is an ultimate one. Cheer on the Canadians.
Learn more about the FIH Olympic Qualifiers: https://www.fih.hockey/events/the-olympic-games-paris-2024/news/fih-hockey-olympic-qualifiers-2024-pools-revealed
Watch the Olympic Qualifiers online at: https://watch.hockey
Schedules, scores, rosters and more at: https://tms.fih.ch/
It may be premature to say the defending Vancouver Island Field Hockey Association champion Tigers are once again the team to beat in the competitive division, but it is fair to say they’ve turned the corner.
After an up-and-down start that saw them post just three wins in their first eight games, the Tigers have ground out two straight wins over quality sides to pull their record level at 5-5-0.
The latest was a 4-2 decision over the first-place Rebels, the same team that beat Tigers 9-1 just three weeks ago (see: Rebels pad comp. division lead with win over partly keeper-less Tigers https://bit.ly/41pllak ) .
Josh Brown led the winners’ attack with a pair of goals, while Parm Sahota and Javier Virk notched a goal apiece. Gavin O’Halloran, who scored the game’s first goal, and Bevan van de Berg tallied for the Rebels.
The second competitive division game of the day, between Victoria League Selects and UVic Vikes, was cancelled due to a shortage of players.
In the morning’s recreational division game, Hawks’ Gurcharn Athwal made the most of his opportunities, scoring three times to lead his team to a decisive 5-1 win over the Marauders.
Hawks midfielders Amit Dillon and Gursharan Kalar gave Marauders defenders fits with their ball control through the middle, and their forays into the opposing end saw them rewarded with a goal each.
Tom Vincent, found alone deep in the circle with a pinpoint pass from Will Cuddihy, scored the lone goal for Marauders.
VIFHA now enters its mid-season break, returning to action on Sunday, Jan. 14.
Find photos by Don Descoteau from today’s Tigers Rebels game at https://www.facebook.com/GVmensFhockey/ .
(This version of the story has changes not included in the original post)
The absence of some key personnel made for a pair of atypical games in Vancouver Island Field Hockey Association competitive division play Sunday at UVic.
Tigers were without a goalkeeper for the first half of the day’s middle game, during which they played with 11 field players against Rebels 1. The latter bagged a couple of goals, despite being “shorthanded” for a half, then continued their scoring barrage when the keepers arrived in posting a 9-1 win.
Johnny Jacoby managed to elude the Tigers defenders and find the net three times for the Rebels, who got single goals from Dale Kirk, Ethan Picard, Dash Nelson, Ben Wheatley, Bevan Van de Berg and Chris Dahl. Rajiv Dillon notched the loan goal for Tigers (3-5-0).
While the victory may not have been as satisfying as its four previous wins, Rebels (5-2-2) did use the points to open up a five-point margin on the second-place UVic men.
The Vikes (4-5-0) were again bitten by the short lineup bug and were forced to default their Sunday contest to the Victoria League Selects (3-3-2) due to the lack of players. Those on hand did, however, create two even teams to play a friendly.
The day’s recreational division game saw Rebels 2 post a 2-0 win over Marauders, paced by goals from Chris Dahl and Clive Wheatley.
Next weekend’s actions opens with the jamboree games for the rec players, followed by Tigers vs. Vikes at noon and Rebels vs. Selects at 1:30 p.m.
Find a collection of photos from today’s games on Facebook .
Top spot in the Vancouver Island Field Hockey Association’s competitive division changed hands Sunday at UVic, but most of the excitement came in the middle game of the day.
Down 3-2 at the half to the always dangerous Tigers, who carried much of the play in the first two quarters, the Victoria League Selects put together a big second half and overtook the men in black to post a 5-4 victory.
Derrick Norton and Sanjiv Galhon scored a pair of goals each for the Selects (2-3-2), while Kai Lawrence bagged a single.
The win spoiled a brilliant three-goal performance from the Tigers’ Josh Brown, whose first two goals came off lightning-quick spinaround reverse stick shots. Parm Sahota scored the other goal for Tigers (3-4-0).
Some apparent confusion late in the fourth quarter, with Tigers scrambling to get the 5-5 goal, ultimately took away the team’s last-ditch momentum.
A Tigers defender who had been issued a green card and a two-minute suspension with just under two minutes to play, stepped back onto the field well before his time was up and was involved in an attacking play. Play was whistled down and he was sent back off, while the Tigers’ captain was handed a yellow card for the team playing with too many men.
The late game of the day saw Rebels 1 (4-2-2) down a shorthanded Vikes side 5-1 to leapfrog ahead of UVic atop the competitive division.
Johnny Jacoby notched a pair of goals in the win, while singles came from Owen Dahl, Ricky Kong and Gavin O’Halloran. Chase Martin scored for the Vikes (4-4-0).
The recreation division game to start the day saw Hawks pad their lead with a 5-1 win over Marauders. Still undefeated at 4-0 to start the season, Hawks got goals from Gurcharn Athwal, Bobby Virk, Amit Dillon, Vardeep Gill and Shawn Kalar, while Kirn Khaira tallied for the Marauders.
Next weekend’s games open with Marauders taking on Rebels 2 at 10:30 a.m., followed by Tigers vs. Rebels 1 at noon and Selects vs. Vikes at 1:30 p.m.