Cayman’s 8-Under team won the Gold Division Championship and the 10-U team were Silver Division Champions and bronze winners in the Gold Division at the North American Roller Hockey Championships, held from July 13-20 in Estero, Florida.
The Cayman Islands brought five teams to the championships, where hockey teams from across the U.S., Canada, France and Colombia reached the tournament through 10 regional qualifiers held through the year.
Cayman teams participated in qualifying rounds in North Carolina in April and Georgia in May, earning their place at the finals in four divisions.
The 10-U Mites kicked off the tournament on July 12, doubling up in both the top Gold Division and the Silver Division.
In the Gold Division, after tight games with only a one goal spread with the Alkali Blast from Missouri and the Junior Gladiators from Georgia, the Cayman team advanced to the bronze medal final, where they posted a decisive 7-4 victory over the Gladiators to take the bronze medal.
With games packed back-to-back with the Gold games, the Mites went undefeated against teams from Florida, Georgia, New York, Pennsylvania, Missouri, Colorado and Colombia in the Silver Division, taking home the Championship Cup in this division.
Jaxon Cover and Kaden Hiryok earned MVP awards for top points and most saves in the Silver Division. Cayman was also well represented in the Skills Competition, with Molly Kehoe taking home the award for fastest skater, and Kaden Hiryok for top goalie in the Silver Division.
8-U Atom Division
Next up was the 8-U Atom Division. With the continued growth in the hockey program at Kings Sports Centre, Cayman had enough depth to field two teams at the tournament. Both teams played well against teams from Florida and Georgia.
After a tough 4-10 loss to the Atlanta Bulldogs in the preliminary rounds, the team came back strong against the same team in the Gold Division final, winning 7-3 and taking the Championship Cup.
“This is an amazing result, as it’s Cayman’s first Gold Cup win in the Gold Division,” organizers said in a press release. “The 8-U squad only lost one game out of 14 games abroad this year, [so] the future looks very bright.
“While Cayman’s younger B-team did not earn a medal in the tournament, they gained valuable experience and will be well prepared for next season, when some of the top 8 and under players move up to the Mites.”
Jaxon Cover, who played in both the Mite and Atom Divisions, won the fastest skater award in the Atom skills competition and the 8-U MVP award.
The 12-U Squirt team played some tough games in a very competitive field with teams from Florida, Georgia and Colombia. The Squirts played the Tour Lizard Kings from Georgia in the Club final to take the silver medal in the club division.
Cayman also fielded a 6-U Cub team at the tournament, another testament to the development of the program at Kings, organizers said. The Cubs lost a tough game to the Downington Cobras from Pennsylvania in the final to take the silver medal. Many of these young players will move up to the Atom division next year. Six-year-old Kameron Hiryok, in particular, had a great tournament, organizers said.
Head coaches Dennis Passchier and Patrick Cover said they are thrilled with the results that made this the most successful year for the program to date.
“The program has really grown over the last three years, and we are finally seeing great results from all the hard work put in by coaches, players and parents,” the coaches said in a press release.
Kings will host a hockey camp the week of Aug. 8, and the hockey league will kick off again in late September.