Cayman’s inline hockey team’s hard work paid off in Fort Myers, Florida over the weekend.
The 8 and under and 10 and under teams competed in the challenging East Coast Hockey Organisation’s Fall Classic after both Cayman teams won gold in the Spring Classic in Atlanta last April.
The U8 team played tremendously and went undefeated through the round robin and semi-finals out scoring their opponents 26-4. In the gold medal game they had a rematch against the Scorpions, Tampa’s elite travel team, having previously beaten them in a tight game in round robin play.
This time fortunes were against Cayman’s Dart Ducks. Despite an early 2-0 lead from beautiful goals by Sadie Finch and Justin Hastings, Cayman lost 3-2 and took home silver medals and the second place trophy. The Ducks represented the Cayman Islands extremely well and showed they were clearly one of the best U8 teams in the entire region this year.
The 10 and under ALT Bolts also started the tournament well winning their first two games handily. The Cayman squad then ran into two difficult elite travel teams and despite their best effort ended up finishing second in the Silver Final.
Cayman were also represented in the individual awards in the tournament as well. In U8s Ryan Godwin won the goal scoring crown, Justin Hastings won the assists leader and Jayden Mannisto was top goaltender. In U10s Bolts’ Lex Dobson took home the assists leader.
Dart Ducks junior coach Dylan Bostock probably had the most memorable experience of all. Heading to Fort Myers to help coach the U8s, Bostock, 14, was invited to play goaltender for a US team that did not have one.
Bostock was an absolute star. He not only took home the top goaltender award for his age group but lead his team to the championship, taking home the first place trophy.
Cayman’s teams cannot wait to regroup at King’s Sports Centre and plan another successful trip next spring to defend their championships.
Coach Aaron Knapik said: “While we knew there would be more talented teams at the championship our goal was to not be outworked.
The kids exceeded our challenge with their effort and we are so proud to reach our second consecutive final, this time with silver medals.
“With the commitment these players have shown there is no limit to what they may be able to accomplish.”