Breakaway launches Cayman in Canada

A local hockey team has once again put Cayman in the spotlight abroad.

Cayman Breakaway recently wrapped up their stay in Canada for the annual World Pond Hockey Championships. The tournament was held 7-10 February in New Brunswick and featured over a hundred teams from around the globe.

The team finished the competition with 2 wins and 3 losses. They finished just out of the top 32 and as result missed the playoffs.

At last year’s event, the team reached the playoffs and made it all the way to the final round.

The team consists of four expatriate business men: Martin Goschl, Norm Klein, Bill Messer and Joe Stasiuk.

All are Canadians that permanently reside in Grand Cayman.

Captain Bill Messer reflected on how the team first got involved in the tournament.

‘When I read about the tourney, it automatically took me back about 30 years ago [when I was growing up in Canada]. Being a kid in the wintertime meant hockey after school on the pond with your best friends.’

The trip marks the third time they have been to Canada for the competition. They first travelled there in 2005 and have been fixtures ever since.

Before taking part in the tournament, the team usually travels abroad to train in ice arenas. They normally stop in Tampa and Canada with assistance from the Department of Tourism.

While in Canada, the team was prominently featured in the local media. They appeared on a few radio station programs including CH Morning Live, Real Life and Daytime Toronto. In addition, they were interviewed for CBC-TV.

The World Pond Hockey Championships is a 4-on-4 tournament held each year in Plaster Rock, New Brunswick. It was started in 2002 with the idea of taking hockey back to its roots as an outdoor sport and allowing people of all ability levels to compete.

Messer said the team was happy to be able to represent Cayman at the competition once again.

‘We’re very excited to be in the tournament again, playing on behalf of the Cayman Islands. People think we’re crazy leaving the beautiful weather of Cayman for the frigid temperatures we often play in at Plaster Rock, but any Canadian would understand – we have hockey in our blood.’