One of the first sports to get
going in 2011 is hockey. A pair of local contests takes place this Thursday and
prior to those matches it’s worth noting what one of the world’s coolest sports
did in the Cayman Islands during 2010.
Locals hit the Logic arena of Kings
Sports Centre in February with the news that Florida Panthers assistant coach
Jim Hulton was here. Hulton led a roller hockey clinic during the NHL’s Winter
Olympics break. Later on that month the spring edition of the Logic Youth
Roller Hockey League took place at Kings Sports Centre, the home of Cayman
hockey. The winning teams would be relative newcomers the Hurley’s Hawks
(PeeWee division), the Eats Blazers (Atom) and dms Bruins (back-to-back Novice
March saw the start of the spring
version of the Logic Adult Roller Hockey League. In June the Barracudas, guided
by stars Reilly Novak and Eric Lacasse, would claim their first championship by
taking down the Islanders in the Cherry Cup finals.
May saw the third annual
Inter-School hockey tournament featuring four of Cayman’s private schools. Some
400 spectators would come out and witness the Saint Ignatius team claim the
junior title and the Cayman International School club nab the senior trophy.
In June the Cayman Islands Kings
travel hockey team competed in a youth tournament in Deerfield Beach, Florida.
The predominantly 12 and under group featured local roller hockey players.
The fall edition of the 2010 Logic
Youth Roller Hockey League kicked off in October. Matches would take place into
December. October also saw ball hockey relaunch onto the sports scene. Some six
teams are taking place in the competition, which took a break for the Christmas
holidays and resumes this week.
The fall edition of the local adult
roller hockey league also started in October. The same four clubs returned to
action for roughly three months. This time around the Islanders would emerge
champions for the first time, besting the Budget Beavers in December’s Cherry
October also saw the CI Kings youth
hockey travel team make another expedition to Florida. This time the side went
to Orlando for the Disney Classic put on at ESPN Wide World of Sports. The
squad beat Venezuela in the competition.
Late November saw a pair of hockey
happenings. The Cayman Islands Field Hockey Club made its annual trek to
Kingston, Jamaica. The squad played friendly matches against a number of
Jamaican sides including the national women’s team. From there the Chicago
Blackhawks had a presence in Cayman as three of its youth hockey coaches led
seminars here. Dozens of kids came out to the session, which were catered to
those in the 6-13 age range.
In December local hockey lost a
notable figure in Ryan Vanderwal. The Canadian had served as goalie, coach and
referee across all the various hockey competitions the last six years.
Vanderwal left the island after his grandfather died shortly before he lost in
the Cherry Cup finals with the Budget Beavers.
Ultimately Cayman hockey has gone
far with limited resources. With talent continuing to emerge every year, there
should be plenty of sharp skating and nifty slap shots well into 2011.