The BDO-CML Pirates were a strong side on the court this season. They were a top ball hockey side the last three months and marched into the playoffs as a number seed.
The team recently cemented their campaign with a championship. The Pirates etched their names in the record books last Thursday at the Logic arena of Kings Sports Centre. The side got by the Sharks via a shoot-out after a 2-2 draw in regulation and over-time. The title match served as the last contest for the 11th season of the Cayman Islands Ball Hockey League.
For team captain Jan-Michael Maw, it is his first title in the many years he has been playing the sport. Maw states it feels good to be on top at last.
“It feels great,” Maw said. “On a personal level, I have played in the league for over four years and last year we lost in the finals which was my first opportunity to play for the championship, so it was wonderful to finally be able to raise the trophy this time. Honestly, since we introduced the draft last year, we have had different champions each season which speaks to the competitiveness of the league and each team.”
The Pirates took down a side in the Sharks that came into the final as the regular season champions. The side also boasted three of the top 20 scorers in the league in Scott Gossen, Ashish Khulbe and Derek Bruce. Maw was quick to say the final was a tough one as a number of players on both squads stepped up.
“It was a great match-up between two excellent teams. Two of our three games in the regular season went to overtime and the other game was a one-goal victory, so I wasn’t surprised that it took a shoot-out to settle who would be league champions. I was glad it was the Pirates who walked away with the win and the championship.
“I would have to say that everyone played a huge role in our win. Definitely, Randy (Cannon) played a solid game and made some huge saves for us almost every time he was tested. The goals they scored were not his fault. He really showed why he was selected to be our goalie in the draft as he showed he can play a clutch role in the big game.
“The Sharks also played a solid game with each player playing hard and forcing us at every turn. Again, I have to say that Shawn Lunt played amazing in net as he made a number of super saves on us to keep his team in the lead for most of the second period.”
In addition to leading his side, Maw doubles as the league commissioner. He states one of the lasting impressions about the whole season was the level of competition.
“I think that the season was great in the sense of how competitive and even most games turned out to be. The only issue was a few teams were lacking consistency in how many players they had coming out which would make it tough later in the game to stay as fresh. Otherwise, we saw a lot of excellent games and I truly believe that everyone enjoyed being a part of their team this year.”