This past weekend, 38 teams competed in Field Hockey Ontario’s May Meltdown. The tournament featured seven divisions: men’s and women’s for U18 and U16, a women’s U14 division, along with co-ed U12 and U10.
“I was most excited to see participation at the U12 and U10 levels,” says Hari Kant, member of Field Hockey Canada’s Board of Directors and Canadian goalkeeper at the 2000 Olympic Games. “The boys and girls who start playing at this age will likely be hockey players for life. And judging from the full stands – their friends and families are also becoming part of the field hockey community.”
Kant joined Pan American Hockey Federation President, Antonio von Ondarza, and two-time Olympian Ian Bird to present the medals to the U12 Champions, a team fielded by the Canadian Field Hockey and Cultural Club. Two-time Olympic medalist with Team Pakistan, Muhammed Shahbaz Junior, presented Toronto’s GOA U18 girls with their Championship Title medals.
Over 300 athletes participated in the event which took place at the Iceland Turfs in Mississauga.
Stay tuned for photos!
|U18 GIRLS||GOA (Toronto)||AC Academy (Toronto)|
|U18 BOYS||OKD||Titans (Toronto)||OKD II|
|U16 GIRLS||Halton Thrashers||Peel Sports|
|U16 BOYS||CFHCC||MFHC (Mississauga)||Nepean Nighthawks (Ottawa)|
|U14 GIRLS||Halton Heroes||Nepean Nighthawks (Ottawa)|
|U12 CO-ED||CFHCC||Nepean Nighthawks (Ottawa)|
Mississauga clubs, led by the Canadian Field Hockey and Cultural Club (CFHCC), won four of seven championship titles at Field Hockey Ontario’s annual May Meltdown field hockey tournament, held this past weekend (May 26-27) at Iceland Fields.
CFHCC teams took gold in boys’ U-16 and U-10 and U-12 coed. The fourth gold was won by the OKD boys’ U-18 squad, which plays out of Mississauga-based Ontario Khalsa Darbar, one of the GTA’s biggest Sikh temples. Halton Field Hockey Club (girls’ U-14 and U-16) and and Toronto’s GOA (girls’ U-18) took the other three championships.
One of the most thrilling matches was between OKD and Toronto Titans in Sunday’s boys’ U-18 final. Scoreless — and with just 20 seconds left in regulation — Manpreet Chana corralled a long pass from Dilawar Sran, dashed down the wing and blasted a shot from a sharp angle past the Titans keeper. Head coach Shane Concisom praised the duo.
“Manpreet is one of our older players. He showed a lot of composure throughout the game, and Dilawar did a great job marking one of their best players,” he said.
The win avenged a 3-1 loss to the Titans in round-robin play. It was OKD’s only setback on Saturday, which Concisom blamed on the breakdown in teamwork.
“Today, we got past individual play. We played as a team, especially on defence,” he said. Chana, who has represented Ontario, was ecstatic. “It was a tough game, but we tried our best — and won,” he said.
The boys’ U-16 final was an all-city matchup between defending champs CFHCC and the Mississauga Field Hockey Club. CFHCC went undefeated in the preliminary round, including a 3-1 win over MFHC. This time they won 5-4, with five players each notching a goal.
“It was an intense, back-and-forth game,” said co-coach Binde Rakhra. “Both teams had great scoring opportunities. We were fortunate to have the game go our way today.”
May Meltdown is the largest annual youth field hockey in Ontario. This year it featured 38 teams, some from as far away as Ottawa.
“Field hockey is becoming very popular. Once kids start playing, they’re very passionate about the game. The challenge is, we’re running short on fields and officials,” said Sandeep Chopra, a director with Field Hockey Ontario.
With so many teams registered for the weekend tourney, organizers were forced to split one of the two fields, playing seven aside. They only went with a full field and a full 11-member squad in girls’ U-18, which featured 11 teams. Chopra says organizers are mulling using two venues for next year’s event.