U23 National Championships Recap

From July 12-22 in Toronto, Ontario, 12 Boys and Girls BC teams competed in the National Championships. The U23 tournament marked the final portion of the 12 day event, which saw eight BC teams return home with a medal.

After the U15 and U18 BC teams collected six medals between the two tournaments, the U23’s added two more medals to the tally, with the U23 Men’s team bringing home the gold medal and the U23 Women’s team taking bronze.

Photo by Field Hockey Canada

After going undefeated through the round robin with two wins and a tie, the U23 Men’s Team faced Team USA in the semi-final. A dominant 8-0 victory in the semi-final sent them on to the gold medal game, where they would face Ontario Red who they had tied 4-4 in round robin play.

Team BC came out hard in the final game, scoring three goals in the first 20 minutes and retaining the lead to take a 4-0 win for the gold medal. The team’s leading scorer was Fin Boothroyd who has seven goals in five games, including three of the team’s four goals in the gold medal match.

The U23 Women’s team went 1-1-1 in the round robin placing them in the semi-final against Ontario White, a team they had lost to by a 2-1 margin in their first game of the tournament. After coming out to a commanding 3-0 lead, Ontario staged a late comeback which left the teams tied 4-4 at the end of regulation. Ontario prevailed in the shootout, leaving Team BC to play for bronze against Alberta.

Photo by Field Hockey Canada

In the bronze medal game, Team BC came out strong once again, with three early goals off the sticks of Leina Dueck and Lindsay Cole. They held onto the lead this time, taking a 6-0 victory for the bronze medal. Leina Dueck and Lindsay Cole led the team in scoring with four goals respectively.

With the 2018 National Championships officially over, we would like to congratulate all athletes, coaches, officials and staff for their tireless work throughout this Provincial season. You all have a lot to be proud of and we hope to see everyone back out there next year!

U18 Nationals Recap Day 4

Team BC Returns Home With a Medal of Each Colour

With four BC teams competing for a medal on the last day of the U18 National Championships in Toronto, BC ended up taking a gold, a silver and a bronze medal.

The BC Boys Rams battled hard against Alberta in the bronze medal game, ultimately winning 4-2. After going up 2-0 on goals by Amraaz Dhillon and Brendan Guraliuk, the Alberta team answered back with two goals of their own to tie the game at 2.

“I think there was always that trust that we thought we were going to win the game, that positive thinking is huge for a lot of us,” explained BC Rams midfielder, Rowan Childs. “Really believing that we are the better team and that we will come through with the win.”

The Rams did just that, starting with a penalty stroke goal by Conor Henry and an insurance marker late in the game by Johnny Jacoby to give the BC Rams a 4-2 win and the bronze medal.

The BC Girls Lions were unable to land a podium finish with a 3-0 loss to Ontario West in the bronze medal game. Despite the loss, the Lions had an exceptionally strong tournament and were quite happy with their overall result.

“We weren’t even expecting to get this far, even though these games didn’t turn out the way we’d hoped we should still be really proud of what we’ve accomplished as a team,” said Allison Kuzyk, who was named to the tournament 11 for her performance this week.

After an unexpected round robin performance, where the Lions went undefeated, they narrowly missed the gold medal game with a 3-2 loss to the BC Stags. In their bronze medal game against Ontario West, who they had beaten 3-2 in a thrilling round robin match-up, the Lions didn’t quite have it in them to repeat that performance and ended up in 4th place.

Coming in as the team with lower expectations than the Stags and the Rams, this 4th place finish was quite an accomplishment for the mixed BC team, who has players coming together from all over the Lower Mainland, Vancouver Island and the Interior.

“It was really exciting, I never realized what we could do and how strong our short corners were; it really felt good to show them that we’re not just the third BC team,” explained Lions defender, Sophia Berk.

“After that Ontario game, that was one of the best feelings I’ve ever experienced in my entire life, especially winning the way we did” reflected Kuzyk. “I think the thing about our team is that we never gave up, it was so great.”

With BC guaranteed a gold medal on the girls side, the Rams and the Stags faced off for a BC showdown. The Rams, who won 2-0 when these two teams went head to head in the round robin, came out on top for a second time with a 4-0 win in the gold medal game.

“It’s not the outcome we hoped for, but I know we worked really hard to get here and we gave it all we could in the final game and that’s all you can ask for,” said Stags captain, Judy Cristante.

“We came in super hungry, we really wanted it the whole time so now that we finally have it, it feels so good,” said BC Rams’ Tessa Johnston.

After facing some early pressure from the Stags, the Rams answered back quickly and got on the board with a goal by senior player, Alissa Wong. Shortly after Bronwyn Bird extended the Rams lead to 2-0, the Stags goaltender, Tayler Guy was injured on a collision and forced to leave the game. As a result, the Stags had to complete the rest of the game with an extra player and no goaltender.

Despite a strong fight from BC’s Vancouver Island team, they were unable to bounce back from the deficit and the Rams ended up taking the gold medal with a 4-0 victory.

“We just left it all on the field,” explained Alissa Wong. “It’s the final game, there’s nothing else after this so we just left everything on the field.”

The BC Boys Lions finished in sixth place with a win over USA and a loss to Ontario East in the Consolation round. Mike Van Iderstine led the team with four goals in six games.

As the U18 National Championships draw to a close, we are beginning the last leg of this year’s Nationals with the U23 Men’s and Women’s teams getting underway in Toronto this weekend. For more information and updates, visit http://www.fieldhockey.ca/2018-national-championships/.

 

U18 Nationals Day 3 Recap

It was a day of elation and heartbreak for the our U18 BC teams in their semi-final matches today at the 2018 National Championships. Two of our four BC teams in the playoff round will move on to contend for a gold medal tomorrow, while the other two will play for bronze.

Gold Medal Guaranteed for the BC Girls as the Stags and Rams Face Off for Gold

It was a thrilling day for our BC Girls teams, starting with a head to head BC semi-final between the Stags and the Lions.

The Stags, BC’s Vancouver Island team, came out hard and got on the board in the first 10 minutes. The Lions, who remained undefeated through the round robin, answered back shortly after on a shortcorner goal by Kaiden Stanley.

“We just had to keep our intensity up and work as a team,” explained first year Stag, Libby Hogg. “Keep it simple and play our game.”

The Lions took the lead in the second half, with a goal by Alyssa Brooks, but the Stags’ youngsters pulled through with back to back goals from first year athletes Janet Dawson and Libby Hogg. After taking the lead with 15 minutes remaining, the Stags held on to win 3-2 and book their ticket to the gold medal game.

“It feels pretty amazing actually,” said Hogg, on scoring the winning goal. “I’m speechless, I don’t even know what to say. Our whole team did a really good job, it feels awesome.”

The following semi-final featured a re-match of last year’s gold medal game, with the BC Rams facing Ontario West. After a scoreless first half, the Rams turned up the intensity and really pushed hard through the second half of the game. Despite their efforts, they were unable to capitalize on their chances, which led them to a shootout.

Alissa Wong and Sanehpreet Basra both capitalized on their shootout attempts, while a couple of huge saves by Rams goalkeeper Aerin Park put the game in Erin Dawson’s hands. Dawson made no mistake, beating the Ontario goaltender and giving her team the chance to play for gold tomorrow.

“When I go into a shootout, I just try to forget about everything that’s happened in the game,” explained Aerin Park. “The first thing that I talk to myself about is that I just make sure to move my feet constantly and I’m always ready.”

With the win over Ontario, the Rams guaranteed a gold medal for BC, as they will face the BC Stags in the final tomorrow. The game will take place at 3:15 PM EST.

The BC Girls have a chance for a full medal sweep, as the BC Lions will play Ontario West in the bronze medal game tomorrow at 9:45 AM EST.

BC Boys Rams Unable to Solve Their Rivals from Ontario

The BC Boys Rams had a tough shootout loss to Ontario Central in their semi-final game. Despite dominating the play for much of the game, the Rams were unable to finish, leaving them in a position to compete for bronze tomorrow at 11:30 AM EST.

“It was definitely heartbreaking, playing so well and dominating the game,” said BC Rams midfielder, Rowan Childs. “But at the same time, scoring goals is part of the game, that’s something you really can’t take for granted, the winner of the game is the one who scores the most goals and we didn’t end up doing that.”

After going up 1-0 on a penalty stroke goal by Brendan Guraliuk, the Ontario team answered back with a penalty stroke goal of their own, to tie the game at 1. Despite their offensive efforts, BC was unable to regain the lead, forcing the game into a shootout.

When the first three shooters failed to score, Ontario got on the board first, beating Rams goaltender Ethan McTavish. Roop Dhillon answered back with a goal for the Rams, but Ontario kept coming and ended up getting the better of the BC team with a 2-1 shootout victory.

The BC Rams will still have a chance for a podium finish, as they face Alberta in the bronze medal game tomorrow.

“We didn’t achieve our goal of getting gold, but it’s still a big game, we’re still playing for a medal at the National Championships,” stated Childs. “It is going to be tough getting over that game, but we need to get over the hurdle and really prepare ourselves for that bronze medal game, it’s unfortunate that we couldn’t get gold but we can still end on a high note.”

The BC Boys Lions went 1-1 in their consolation matches today, with a 4-3 win over USA and a 1-0 loss to Ontario East.

With four BC teams competing for medals tomorrow, you won’t want to miss any of the action! Follow @fieldhockeybc on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for updates throughout the day, and follow along for live scores at https://fhc.altiusrt.com/.

U18 Nationals Day 2 Recap

All Three BC Girls Teams Advance to the Semi Finals

The success for the BC Girls continues as all three teams advanced to the semi-finals of the 2018 U18 National Championships.

After a hard fought battle with the BC Rams last night, the BC Stags finished day 1 with a 1-1 record, making their game against Alberta this morning a must-win in order to advance to the semis. Stags’ forward, Libby Hogg, scored in the first minute and they kept the lead for the rest of the game.

Their 2-0 victory over Alberta punched their ticket to the semi-final, where they will face the BC Lions.

Despite having a bit of a tough game this morning, the Rams squeaked out a 1-0 win over Ontario East to finish the round robin undefeated. The Rams goal scorer, Bronwen Rees-Wiedemann, said despite having a tough game today, they are happy with their position going into their semi-final against Ontario West.

“It was more of a relief than anything, because we really needed it,” explained Rees-Wiedemann. “Our coach, Bubli, said every team has a game like this where we can’t really finish so it’s good that ours has passed. Moving forward we want to play like we did yesterday, because that was probably the best we’ve ever played as a team.”

The BC Lions continue to impress, with an 11-1 victory over Quebec to clinch their berth in Thursday’s semi-final. Their final match against Ontario Central, a tight one which ended in a 2-1 Lions victory, put them first in their pool, set to face the BC Stags.

“I’m excited that we made the semis, that was a big goal of ours,” said Lions captain, Nora Struchtrup.

The Lions, the BC team with the least expectations on them coming into this tournament, have definitely turned some heads with their undefeated round robin performance.

“I think it’s going to be a huge advantage being the underdogs,” reflected Struchtrup. “I know we can do it if we play as a team. We’ve got a goal scoring team, I think Cam [Camryn Haines] scored her ninth goal in three games, it’s crazy. Anything is possible and I’m really excited to see where those games take us.”

BC Boys Rams Edge BC Lions to Advance to the Semi-finals

After the BC Lions had a disappointing round robin, finishing 4th in their pool with an 0-3 record, they left it all on the field in their quarter-final match with their provincial rivals, the BC Rams.

The Rams, who finished first in their pool and are among the favourites for a podium finish, got a bit of a scare from the Lions who, despite being underdogs coming in, believed they had it in them to take the Rams out of contention.

“We know them, we know their skill set, we’ve played against them before,” said BC Lions forward, Sahjun Sehmi. “I’m not saying it’s going to be easy, they’re easily probably the best team in the tournament, we know it’s going to be a tough battle.”

After Amraaz Dhillon gave the Rams an early lead off of a shortcorner, the Lions answered back with two quick goals late in the first half, giving them the advantage going into halftime.

The Rams poured on the pressure early in the second half and on the last play before the quarter break, managed to tie it up with yet another shortcorner goal by Dhillon.

“I felt like I owed it to my teammates because they put faith in me, and my coach Kevin Pereira, he’s the one who chose the flicking option on the shortcorners,” explained Dhillon. “I just have to thank my teammates for getting the corner and my coach for giving me the opportunity.”

A quick goal after the quarter break by Naman Sharma gave the Rams the lead, and despite a strong push by the Lions in the final minutes, the Rams were able to hold on for a 3-2 win. The Rams victory puts them in the 1:30 PM (EST) semi final against Ontario Central, a team that has won the last two U18 National Championships.

After winning both of their round robin games quite handily, Dhillon believes it is a positive for their team to have overcome some adversity in their quarter final match-up, as the competition heats up going into the playoff rounds.

“My friend and teammate Rowan Childs always says adversity sparks greater opportunity,” said Dhillon. “It really woke us up because we were down for a long time in that game and for us to build up and come back and win I think that shows how good of a team we are and how good we can be.”

All four BC semi-finals will take place between 11:30 AM and 3:00 PM EST.  Follow @fieldhockeybc on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for updates throughout the day, and follow along for live scores at https://fhc.altiusrt.com/

U18 Nationals Day 1 Recap

BC Starts Strong With 3 Teams Going Undefeated on Day 1

Many of BC’s U18 teams got just the start they were looking for on Day 1 of the National Championships in Toronto, Ontario. Both the Boys and Girls BC Rams came out of the day with two wins, as did the BC Girls Lions, who pulled off a bit of an upset against a very strong Ontario team.

The Girls Lions started the day with a massive 15-0 win over Prince Edward Island. 16 year-old Camryn Haines of Trail, BC led the team with six goals in this blowout game.

“It feels good to score, but I’m not going to let it get to my head,” said Haines. “I’m just going to go back out there and see what happens, stay by the net and hopefully get a few more. Coming into the game against PEI we didn’t know anything about them so we just wanted to play our best and see what we can do.”

“Our plan going in was not to take any team for granted no matter what they’re reputation is, just play your hardest, don’t underestimate anybody and give it your all,” explained first year BC Lions midfielder, Leah Fourie.

The Lions carried that momentum into their second game against Ontario West, a much tougher match-up in which the Lions proved that they are a force to be reckoned with. BC never trailed in that game, but Ontario brought it to a tie twice before Allison Kuzyk gave her team back the lead off of a short corner late in the game. With a 3-2 win over Ontario, the Lions are currently tied for first in their pool with Ontario Central, who they will face tomorrow afternoon.

On the Boys side, the BC Lions did not have the start that they’d hoped for, with a 6-2 loss to Alberta and a 4-1 loss to Ontario Central. They will have their final round robin game tomorrow morning before heading into the quarter-finals tomorrow afternoon.

The BC Boys Rams had a very strong start to their tournament with two decisive victories over Ontario East (4-0) and USA (10-0).

“It’s definitely a great result to start off. Everyone was working really hard, it was really impressive,” said 18 year-old Rams midfielder, Rowan Childs. “We have some things to clean up and there’s still a long way to go, we’re taking it one team at a time.”

In a pool of only three teams, the Rams have already concluded their round robin play and have clinched first place, which lands them in the first quarter-final against the fourth place team in Pool A.

“Preparation is going to be huge. Nutrition and hydration, that sort of thing,” said Childs. “The biggest thing is making sure you’re taking care of your body between games.”

The BC Girls Rams had a big day as well, with a commanding 6-1 victory over Alberta in the morning. In their second game, they took on their Provincial rivals, the BC Stags, in what was a very close and exciting match-up. The Rams took the lead early with a goal from Mia Zurkovic and they held onto it for the rest of the game, leading them to a 2-0 victory, despite the push back from the Stags.

“It was a super nerve-wracking game,” reflected BC Rams captain, Tessa Johnston. “We were able to score in the first two minutes which helped us to let go of the nerves and build on that to keep going harder and harder, because they pushed so hard and played so well. They made it a really good game.”

With one round robin game left to play against Ontario East, the Rams look to continue building on their early success and come out strong in every game.

“Our first game we had a bit of a groggy start, it took us a while to get into it,” said Johnston. “The first five minutes is a huge thing for us. We want to go out hard and maybe scare the other team a little, keeping possession and communicating really well as a team.”

The BC Stags, despite their tough loss to the Rams, are still in a great position thanks to their 9-0 win this morning over Ontario East. The Stags and the Rams currently sit first and second in their pool with one round robin game remaining. Only the first two teams in each pool will advance to the semi-final on Thursday.

The girls and boys BC teams are back at it bright and early tomorrow, with the BC Boys Lions kicking things off at 9:45 AM EST against Quebec. Follow @fieldhockeybc on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for updated throughout the day, and follow along for live scores at https://fhc.altiusrt.com/.

 

 

U18 National Championships Preview

BC Teams Chase the Elusive Gold Medal at U18 National Championships

The 2018 U18 National Championships begin tomorrow, running from July 17-20 at the University of Toronto, Ontario. BC has a total of five teams competing in the tournament, with three on the girls side and two on the boys side all fighting for the National Title.

After two consecutive silver medal finishes at the U18 National Championships, the BC Girls Rams have one thing on their minds going into this tournament: first place. Their Ontario rivals took home the gold medal at the 2016 and 2017 Nationals, a streak they hope to break this year.

BC Rams senior and 5 time Team BC athlete, Tessa Johnston has never won gold in her Team BC career and in her last year playing at the junior level, she is hungry for it.

“There’s so much drive there from each team, I think everyone is so competitive and pushing for it so hard,” said Johnston. “It’s really exciting. Even watching the U15 game today, everyone was so excited and just ready to start.”

Eve Carrothers, midfielder for the BC Rams, is also chasing her first gold medal victory. In her second year with the U18 Rams, the 17 year-old Tsawwassen native has embraced her position as both a mentor to the younger players and one who can learn from the seniors on her team.

“Last year I was a bit nervous being the youngest and now that I’ve gotten that over with it’s fun to get to know the younger girls, they’re all really confident and nice to have around,” explained Carrothers.

The BC Stags, who finished third at the 2017 National Championships, are looking to improve on that result with a trip to the finals this year. The Vancouver Island team has no shortage of young talent, with only three seniors on their roster, including Victoria natives, Cara Butler and Stefanie Sajko.

“It’s cool to see the different perspectives of the game,” reflected Butler. “I think they’re learning from us as well as we’re learning from them and I think they want it as much as we do even though we’ve been around a bit longer.

With the two Vancouver Island teams finishing first and third at the BC Regional Trials back in April, the Stags are feeling confident that they can push for a podium finish and contend for the gold medal this tournament.

“It gives us some motivation, I think we have a really strong team,” said Sajko. “We’ve meshed really well together and trained really hard. I think we have a really good chance at getting a medal this year.”

The Lions, BC’s mixed team with athletes from the Interior, Vancouver Island, the Sunshine Coast and the Lower Mainland, narrowly missed the semi-finals at last year’s Nationals and ended up in fifth place.

On the U18 Boys side, the BC Rams are hungry for revenge on the Ontario team who has come out on top at Nationals the past several years. For senior players Rowan Childs and Gary Mann, the rivalry with Ontario has been developing since their years at the U15 level.

“It’s our last year at U18’s so I just want to give it my best,” said Mann. “We want to make sure we come out of the tournament strong and get that gold.”

For all of the U18 Boys seniors, this is their last chance as junior players to finally capture the gold medal that has eluded them each year at the National Championships.

“Watching the U15’s today brought back those painful memories of always getting silver,” Childs explained. “For me, it just gives me that drive and pure excitement.

Also in strong medal contention are the BC Lions, who took the bronze medal at last year’s U18 National Championships. Lions forward Sahjun Sehmi is one of two players on the Lions who has been travelling from Vancouver Island every week for the past two months to train on the Lower Mainland with Team BC.

As a player who has faced adversity through injury and the added challenge of travelling from the Island to play field hockey, Sehmi embraces the underdog status that his team holds.

“We know what we’ve got to do, stick to our strategies and play our game,” said Sehmi. “Everyone loves a good Cinderella story, the other teams might come in underestimating us. I’m used to it, I like being an underdog.”

With so many strong and determined teams competing for a common goal, we can’t wait to see how this tournament unfolds for our BC teams. You can follow the action live at fhc.altiusrt.com and follow the official tournament website at http://www.fieldhockey.ca/2018-national-championships/

For recaps, news and updates on all of our BC Teams, make sure to follow @Fieldhockeybc on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. You can also get updates directly from www.fieldhockeybc.com.

U15 National Championships Recap

U15 Girls Rams take Gold at the National Championships

The U15 Girls BC Rams had a dominant performance at the 2018 National Championships, taking the gold medal for the second consecutive year. After going undefeated through four round robin games, the Rams faced their provincial rivals, the BC Lions, in the semi-final.

Thanks to two goals within two minutes both scored by Brooke McCusker, the Rams advanced to the final with a 2-0 semi-final victory, where they took on Ontario West for a re-match of the 2017 U15 Girls final. Once again, the Rams came out on top with a 3-0 victory, with goals by Brooke McCusker, Polly Campbell and Ahria Dhillon.

14 year-old North Vancouver native Brooke McCusker led the Rams with six goals in six games.

BC Rams, gold medallists

The Lions had an outstanding performance, finishing with a bronze medal. After going 2-0-1 in the round robin, they had a tough loss to the Rams in the semi-final. However, they bounced back to take a 3-1 win over Ontario Central to take home the bronze. Olivia Huebner led the Lions in scoring with three goals.

BC Girls Lions

The BC Stags had a 1-2-1 record through the round robin, which put them into the consolation bracket. They finished in a tie for 6th place with Ontario East. Victoria native Julia Berk led the team with 5 goals.

U15 Boys Rams Claim the Silver Medal

The U15 Boys Rams took second place with a tough 2-1 loss to Quebec 1 in their final game. After going undefeated through the round robin, the Rams had resounding victories through the playoffs, including a 5-0 win over the BC Lions in the quarter final and a 7-0 win over Ontario in the semi-final.

However, Quebec 1 got the better of them in the gold medal game. After going up 2-0 early in the second half, the Rams cut the lead in half, but were unable to complete the comeback. The silver medallists were led by Harvir Mahli who had nine goals. Goalkeeper Armaan Bagri only allowed two goals in five games.

BC Boys Rams half time chat with coaches Adrien and Ali

The BC Boys Lions ended up in sixth place. After being eliminated in the quarter-finals by their provincial rivals, the Rams, they tied both of their consolation matches against Alberta and Quebec. The Lions were led by Finlay O’Callaghan who scored four goals in five games.

In Memory of Megan Scraper

Photo by Western University

 

Field Hockey BC is deeply saddened by the sudden passing of former FHBC athlete, Megan Scraper.

Megan started playing field hockey when she was 10 years old as a member of the West Vancouver Field Hockey Club. Between 2005 and 2009, she was a member of the Field Hockey BC Regional and Provincial High Performance Programs.

She took part in multiple National Championships during this time and went on to play varsity field hockey at Kent State and Western University. After University, Megan became a successful social media influencer and consultant.

Megan’s untimely death is a tragedy that can be felt throughout the entire field hockey community. Field Hockey BC offers our heartfelt condolences to her family and friends.

Meet the Athletes: Team BC U15 Boys

The Provincial Pathway Series

The Provincial Pathway is a series which will follow a select number of FHBC athletes on their journey from the Regional Program through to the National Championships.

U15 Boys BC Rams – India Club Tournament gold medallists

With the 2018 National Championships only two weeks away, we are excited to introduce the U15 Boys BC teams who will be travelling to Toronto to take on the top teams from across the country.

This year, BC will be sending two teams of 16 players each to the National Championships at the U15 Boys level. The BC Rams and the BC Lions are mostly made up of athletes from the Lower Mainland, with the exception of three players who have been travelling from Vancouver Island almost every weekend to train with their team.

As the last few weekends of training wrap up and the teams prepare for Toronto, we got the chance to hear from U15 BC Lions athlete, Calder Wheatley, with regards to his experience in training at the Provincial level.

“Training is going well; we’re working on fitness, agility and tactical skills,” said Wheatley. “I have lots of new teammates and I’m getting to know them well as we continue to practice in Vancouver.”

Calder Wheatley (right) in action at the India Club Tournament

Wheatley is in his second year as a member of the U15 BC Lions. As one of the U15 Boys Island athletes, the Provincial program is a rare opportunity for him to train exclusively with athletes of his age group. The boys field hockey community on Vancouver Island is quite small, therefore there is no club league at his age.

“Both the Regional and the Provincial programs build on fitness, tactical and technical skills, which really builds my hockey skills,” Wheatley explained. “The biggest differences are playing with athletes outside Victoria, having new coaches and travelling to Vancouver on a regular basis for practices. It’s a good way to play with other players my own age since we do not have this on the Island.”

U15 BC Lions during the India Club Tournament bronze medal game

Working with coaches Sujay Mehta and Graem D’Andrade, the U15 BC Lions are working on building up their team dynamic as well as individual skill sets leading into the National Championships. They had their first taste of competition this past weekend at the India Club Tournament, where they finished in fourth place in the U16 Boys division.

The U15 BC Rams, led by head coach and Men’s National Team member Adrien D’Andrade, had a strong showing at the India Club Tournament. In a tight Championship match, the BC Rams came out on top with a 3-1 victory over the U16 India Club to take the gold medal.

U15 BC Rams in action during the India Club Tournament gold medal game

The Rams will be looking for a repeat performance after taking the gold medal at Nationals in 2017. With only one weekend of training to go, both teams are gearing up to play their best hockey on the National stage.

“The intensity and competitiveness gradually builds up as we move thru the program. This helps to have us ready to play our best at Nationals,” said Wheatley. “It should be a good experience and I’m looking forward to the trip with my team.”

Click below for full for U15 Boys BC Team rosters and athlete bios:

U15 Boys BC Rams

U15 Boys BC Lions

Meet the Athletes: Team BC U15 Girls

The Provincial Pathway Series

The Provincial Pathway is a series which will follow a select number of FHBC athletes on their journey from the Regional Program through to the National Championships.

U15 Girls BC Rams – India Club Tournament gold medallists

The U15 Girls BC Teams have been hard at work over the last six weeks as they prepare to take on the rest of the country at the National Championships in Toronto, Ontario. With Nationals only two weeks away, we had the opportunity to hear from BC Rams’ athletes Laine Delmotte and Savina Purewal with a look into Provincial training and the road to Nationals.

“I feel that the Provincial training is really getting us prepared and allowing us to peak just in time for the Nationals,” said Purewal. “The training is intense and we are all getting to know each other as we train together.”

“The training has been awesome!  I love the high intensity in all of the sessions and the competitiveness with all my teammates,” said Delmotte. “Everyone pushes each other in training on the field and off while doing fitness. We all have already come together really well, and we are starting to get more comfortable with each other.”

Laine Delmotte in action during the gold medal game at the India Club Tournament

Delmotte, who has been training with the North Shore Academy for the last two years, is going into her second National Championships after finishing in fourth with the U15 BC White Lions last year. The BC Rams head coach, Jenn Beagan, is also Delmotte’s coach in the Academy Program.

Jenn Beagan, head coach of the BC Rams.

“Jenn has coached me for quite a while now,” Delmotte reflected. “She always keeps us focused and her talks and feedback motivates us, and keeps the sessions at that high intensity.”

Beagan, in her second year coaching the U15 Girls BC Rams, led the team to a National Championship Gold medal last year. Savina Purewal is one of only two players from the 2017 U15 National Champions who will be returning to the same BC team this year.

“I would describe Jenn as a knowledgeable and well-organized coach.  She makes sure that she gives positive feedback and is really connecting with each of the players,” Purewal explained. “From the beginning she has set high expectations. She’s great at motivating each of us and is always keeping the training sessions positive and productive.”

This year, the U15 Girls will be sending three BC Teams to the National Championships. The BC Rams are comprised of the top athletes from the Lower Mainland, the BC Stags are based on Vancouver Island, and the BC Lions have a range of athletes from all across the province, including the Island, the Interior and the Lower Mainland.

U15 Girls BC Rams

Throughout their two month period of Provincial training between the Regional Festival and the National Championships, the U15 Girls BC Teams are training an average of four hours a week as a team with added fitness components during the week.

Purewal and Delmotte describe their sessions as highly intense, with each session focused around specific skills and set team plays.

“The Provincial Program really builds on the training, fitness and coaching from the Regional Program so you can compete at your very best at the Nationals,” said Purewal. “ The training is really intense and the expectations are high.”

Savina Purewal, captain of the Rams for the gold medal game at the India Club Tournament

“I find that Academy is more focused on individual skills, but the Provincial program is more team based and we learn more field awareness and positional tactics,” Delmotte explained. “I think doing Academy prior to Provincials was good for me because it helped me get comfortable playing with better and stronger girls who pushed me to be the best I can be.”

The BC Rams and BC Lions got their first taste of in-game action this past weekend at the annual India Club Tournament in Surrey. Playing in the U17 Girls division, the teams had the added challenge of competing against older girls. The BC Lions had an exciting finish, with a shootout victory over SHC for the bronze medal. The shootout went into sudden death, where Navjot Mangat scored the game winner.

U15 BC Lions – India Club Tournament bronze medallists

The U15 BC Rams came out on top with an exciting 1-0 win in the final against India Club. The Rams goal came in the dying minutes of the game, when Laine Delmotte got the ball off of a short corner and fed Taylor Katsube who buried it to give her team the victory.

“I think my team is preparing well and that we will be ready on the day of competition,” stated Purewal. “What I am most looking forward to is hopefully with hard work and determination to come back from Nationals as Champions.”

“I am looking forward to playing games against tough competition and I’m also really looking forward to bonding and travelling with my teammates,” said Delmotte. “I think our team is very well prepared.”

The U15 Girls BC teams will take on the rest of the country at the National Championships from July 12-16 at the University of Toronto, Ontario. Click here to visit the National Championships website.

For full U15 Girls BC Team rosters and athlete bios:

U15 Girls BC Rams

U15 Girls BC Stags

U15 Girls BC Lions