THE Canadian men’s and women’s indoor national field hockey teams have booked their tickets to Leipzig, Germany for the 2015 Indoor World Cup next February after capturing double gold at the 2014 Indoor Pan American Cup this past weekend in Montevideo, Uruguay.
The men defeated cross-border rival, the United States while the women were victorious against international hockey powerhouse Argentina.
In the all North American final, the Canadian men defeated the United States 4-2.
Just seconds into the match, Canadian veteran Ken Pereira (Unionville, Ont.) had a chance to give Canada the earlty lead going in alone but was stopped in close by American keeper Kevin Segeren.
The first half was mainly controlled by Canada. Jeewanjot Bath (Brampton, Ont.) gave the crowd its first taste of scoring in the sixth minute after a great steal, a wonderful move around an American defender and a fantastic finish by throwing a reverse flick into the net.
The States had several opportunities to respond, but they were denied by Canadian keeper Shankar Premakanthan (Scarborough, Ont.). The highlight was a diving save of a U.S. penalty corner. Premakanthan, in three games during the tournament, only let in three goals.
In the fourteenth minute, it was Periera, who was later named men’s player of the tournament, gave Canada their second goal when he took Segeren all the way to the left corner of the circle and then sent a smooth reverse ball into the backboards. Pereira had four goals in the tournament.
The United States came out firing in the second and slotted one in the twenty-first minute.
A quick pass to the top of the cirlce found Sebastian Shuerer all alone. His shot beat Premakanthan and the States cut the lead in half to 2-1.
The teams then went back and forth as Micah Teixeira (Mississauga, Ont.) pushed Canada’s lead back to two after sending a bullet in off a penalty corner in the thirty-second minute.
But the U.S. was not going to go down without a fight and replied with another goal bringing the game to 3-2. Moritz Runzi finished a nice passing play, beating Premakanthan, who had no chance, and making it a one goal game with only a few minutes to go.
But in the last minute of play with the American goalie pulled, Canada earned a penalty corner and Jonathan Roberts (Stoney Creek, Ont.), who has led Canada offensively from the first game of the tournament, made no mistake by beating the U.S. keeper for the insurance marker. Roberts was the highest scoring Canadian, with five goals in the tournament, and finished fourth overall.
The men notched a total twenty-one goals and only allowed an impressive three goals against.
“It looked like we were in control but there were some exciting moments,” said men’s head coach Louis Mendonca. “I think in competition everybody comes to compete. We had some injuries with a few key players but the rest of the guys really stepped up.”
(Field Hockey Canada)