Field Hockey Canada > Sunday sweep earns Ontario double gold at Under-16 National Championships

The Ontario boys and girls under-16 teams are both headed home with gold medals after a Sunday sweep at the 2014 Field Hockey Canada Under-16 National Championships in West Vancouver, B.C.

Both teams were undefeated in the tournament and completed the repeat double-victory after having done so at the 2013 Nationals in Brampton. It is a testament to the level of hockey being played and taught in Ontario and to the players who came together in a short time period.

“This team comprises players from various different clubs from all over Ontario,” said assistant coach Sean Pereira, who stood in as head coach for Scott Sandison who had to leave the tournament early. “They really worked hard in the limited time we had together but we came out here and showed our team what Ontario is capable of.”

The first title match on the schedule was the boys final in which Ontario faced BC-Yellow. The two teams met in the preliminary stage of the tournament on Thursday, with the eastern Canadian represtative coming out with a 3-0 victory.

The Ontario boys were extremely dominant both offensively and defensively en route to the final, with only three goals against and twenty-one goals for in four games played.

The final, however, began with the host team, British Columbia, scoring first. A tally from B.C.’s Kyle Bishop in the opening minute gave the local boys hope and got the visitors’ attention.

After some pressure of their own, Ontario tied the game in the fifth minute on a field goal from Jeevan Jammu. The game was only five minutes old and had already seen two goals.

The goals kept coming in the first half, but it was all Ontario.

In the ninth minute, Arshjot Toor scored his first of back-to-back goals to give Ontario the 2-1 lead. Toor scored again in the fifteenth minute, before Jammu tallied his second of the half to make it 4-1 in the thiry-second minute. That’s how the teams went into the half-time break.

B.C. was a much improved team in the second half, applying pressure for the majoriy of the final frame. They were able to beat Ontario keeper Ranbir Kalkat in the sixty-ninth minute to bring the score to 4-2, but in the end would fall short.

“I felt that we played a good game and proved a lot as a team,” said Ontario captain Tarpreet Singh, who now moves into the under-18 age bracket. “We didn’t take the ball as individuals and we showed good chemistry.”

It was a similar story with the girls team, who faced BC-Blue for the Championship.

Ontario was also undefeated before the final and scored a whopping thiry-four goals in five games, with only two against heading into the title match. It was an impressive peformance which continued through the final.

“From the beginning of the tournament we were playing quite well and improved as we went along,” said Ontario girls coach Nicolas Govia. “This is a team of nine different clubs representing Ontario and they just came together as one entire unit. It was fantastic.”

The final match was their toughest of the tournament against a B.C. team which was well prepared with a near equally impressive preliminary round, falling only to Ontario (6-1 on Friday).

Like their male counterparts, B.C. had a fantastic start. In the first half, opportunities on numerous penalty corners in succession did not produce the goal the hosts would have liked but the match stayed square. That was until the thirty-third minute when Ontario’s Jaslan Striling scored the first goal. Only five minutes later, Emily Hong made it 2-0.

The scoreline remained at 2-0 for most of the second half. B.C. pressed but could not convert and the game was sealed with a third Ontario goal from Emily Buttinger in the seventeith minute, assuring the Ontario victory and the title.

“All the hard work paid off,” said team captain Cassandra Mascarenhas. “We were working well together as a team.”

“When we work and put our mind together we can win.”

Earlier in the day, the BC-White girls won a close bronze medal match against BC-Yellow in a penalty shootout, and the BC-White boys defeated Alberta 6-2 to capture the boys bronze.

Click here for full tournament schedule, results, standings, photos and more.