The Cayman Islands Youth Roller Hockey program sent one of its largest teams ever to Atlanta May 21-22 for the Georgia Regional Qualifiers, with teams representing Cayman in the Atom (8- and-under), Mite (10-U), Squirt (12-U) and Peewee (14-U) divisions. Based on the results of this qualifier and the Irvine qualifier last month, all teams qualified through to the North American Roller Hockey Championships (NARCh) in Toronto in July.
Coach Dennis Passchier, noting the teams’ results achieved in Atlanta, said, “Each year the teams get stronger and are now consistently in contention for medals in the Gold Division.
“We added the Irvine qualifier to the roster this year due to the high quality of play in California, and the Cayman teams proved themselves there against some of the best inline hockey players in the U.S. With just three weeks in between tournaments the kids worked hard to may improvements and tighten up plays and it paid off in Atlanta.”
Cayman fielded two Atom Division teams in Atlanta, and both came home with medals. After going undefeated in the round robin, the Cayman Islands White team was the No. 1 seed heading into the gold final against the Atlanta Bulldog Red team. Jaxon Cover followed his high scorer title from Irvine, with the same award this time around. He also found success with line-mate Kameron Hiryrok, who came away with a double hat trick in one of the round-robin games. The team was also led by Thatcher Duty and Eliana Marr, who combined to win top goalie honors. Matthew Huys was key on defense, and other key contributors were Mason McDonald, Aiden “Suits” Suitor, Cohen Ting and Sarah Godwin.
The Cayman Islands Blue team was led by Tommy Isbister, Christian Goulden and John-Michael Parker. The team won gold in the Silver Division against the Atlanta Bulldogs White, giving team Cayman the Atom Division sweep overall.
Cayman 8-U teams have lost only one of their last six tournaments, organizers said in a press release.
In the Mite Division, Cayman won silver in the Gold Division after losing to Atlanta’s Tour Junior Gladiators top team.
Top scorers were Jaxon Cover, who won both the 8-U and 10-U top point man, Jaedon Cover and Lachlin Lambert.
In the Squirt Division final round robin game, the Tour Junior Gladiators 06 broke a 7-7 tie with 30 seconds left, moving Cayman from the top seed to number three and knocking them out of the Gold Division final. The Gold Division was ultimately won by the Tour Lizard Kings, whom Cayman had defeated in the round robin.
The Cayman team came back strong in the Silver Division semifinal, defeating the Atlanta Bulldogs 10-3. Cayman faced off against the Tour Junior Gladiators Red in the final, winning the gold medal with a score of 7-1.
“The Cayman Islands 12-U team has really improved as they’ve stayed together and aged up,” said Daryn Goodwin, organizer of NARCh. “I have a feeling some teams here are very disappointed in their play because they lost games to this Cayman Team today when they’ve beaten them in past years.”
Top scorers for the 12-U Cayman team were Andy Hastings, Sadie and Connor Finch and Jaxon Cover.
In the Peewee division, Cayman’s 14-U team played in their first tournament this year and qualified for the Silver Division final. After being down 6-2 the team stormed back to make it 6-7 coming up just short for the big comeback. Leading scorers were Justin Hastings, Jayden Mannisto and Josh Small.
In addition to the teams that played in the four age divisions in California and Georgia, Cayman will bring a 6-Under, Cub Division team to the finals in Toronto, and will field a girls team for the first time.