December 13, 2010
The Canadian Men’s Indoor team has returned home after participating in the Moscow Nights Indoor Field Hockey Tournament in Moscow, Russia. The tournament was a prelude to the FIH Indoor World Cup to be held in Poznan, Poland on February 8th – 13th, 2011.
In the tournament, the Canadian team was placed in Pool B that saw countries Russia, Sweden, Iran, and Belarus also competing for the first place title. The Canadians started off against the Iranians with a 4 – 12 loss followed by a close 3 – 8 loss to Belarus. The next match seen Sweden edge the Canadians by a score of 3 – 6 and then in the last match of pool play team Russia beat Canada 2 – 11.
Heading into the Play-offs Canada faced off against team Croatia. With Canada’s current record of 0 – 4 in the tournament, the Men played extremely hard to get out of the tournament with a win. Beating team Croatia 14 – 5 in their final match of the tournament, Canada placed 9th overall and finished with a record of 1 win and 4 losses for the tournament.
The objective of the tournament was to learn about European Indoor Hockey as it is the hub of competitive teams. “We were surprised by the Iranian team” said Eshan Ali, Head Coach of the Canadian Men’s Indoor Team. “They were a fit squad and played a very good indoor game. After talking to their trainer I learned that the team have been focused on hockey for a while and will be until the Indoor World Cup. They don’t have jobs or other responsibilities and it certainly showed in the results as they won the tournament. They had also recently played in a tournament in Prague and won that tournament too”.
Another objective of the tournament was to expose our young players to the European style of play and also give all goalies an opportunity to play in the tournament, which was why the team had taken 4 goal keepers. “There were some surprises as to how some players handled the travel across time zones and how some played in the tournament” said Coach Ali. “There are adjustments that need to be made both on offense and defense and we will make those adjustments. I am not too concerned at this point because we have a plan in place to use our experience from this tournament and prepare for the Indoor World Cup in February”.