Cayman qualify for world champs

Cayman provided a good showing at a major regional ball hockey event.

Cayman placed second in the 2008 Caribbean Cup. They lost to Bermuda in the gold medal game on Saturday 3 May.

Cayman’s performance secured them a spot at the world championships. That contest will take place in Prague, Czech Republic next year.

The Cayman Islands Ball Hockey Association hosted the competition at Kings Sports Centre last weekend.

Saturday’s final game between Cayman and Bermuda drew a solid crowd. Some eighty local supporters and media were out taking in the game.

The packed sidelines transferred into tight play on the rink. Both teams came out aggressive and eager to put on a show. Spaces were tough to find as both teams made conscious efforts to block up the passing lanes.

The fans were also treated to plenty of checking and penalties. A flurry of players, mostly from Cayman, was sent to the pine-box for everything from tripping to roughing.

The battle for rebounds and loose pucks was especially brutal. The boards shook and rattled with great force as players crashed and banged for pucks around the back of both nets.

In the end, Bermuda was able to assert their will. Throughout the game, the squad controlled the lightning-quick pace and went deep into Cayman territory at will.

On the other hand, Cayman had some good spots in the game. The squad stayed within striking distance for most of the match. A couple of set pieces and power play opportunities looked promising but ultimately their scoring chances were too far and few between.

Bermuda won 3-0. Bermuda ends the competition undefeated at 5-0. They claimed gold medals and the first place trophy. They also boasted the top scoring duo in the tournament in forwards Dave Gazzard (12 points) and Trevor Angus (nine points).

Cayman took home silver medals and the second place trophy.

Cayman ended the competition with a record of 3-2. Their only two losses came to Bermuda as they lost their first game on Thursday 4-7.

Nevertheless, Cayman had plenty of excellent performances. They scored an average of eight goals in the three games they won including two 10 goal efforts against the likes of BVI and Bahamas.

Cayman also held their own on the stats sheet. They were second in goals scored (29) and second in fewest goals allowed (18). Four team members were in the top ten in points.

Forward Tim MacDonald tied for the tournament lead in goals with six. He also had eight points along with forwards Scott Gossen and Lance Worth. Josh Grant ended up the top scoring defenseman with two goals and six points.

Cayman was not too shabby on the goal-tending side of things either. Les Sowiak allowed the second fewest goals with four and had the third best goals against average with 3.00.

Sowiak’s performance was significant considering the competition was a high-scoring affair. There were 91 goals and 101 assists leading to 192 points earned in just five games.