Canada maintain strong Pool A start at Men’s Hockey World League Round 2 in Tacarigua, Trinidad & Tobago
The second day of action at the Men’s Hockey World League Round 2 competition in Tacarigua, Trinidad & Tobago saw Canada and Japan take control of their respective pools by claiming second wins.
The day’s action began in Pool A with USA bouncing back from Saturday’s defeat at the hands of north American rivals Canada to defeat Barbados 7-1. Goals from Pat Harris and Tyler Sundeen gave USA a 2-0 lead in the opening quarter with William Holt and Aki Kaeppeler taking the score to 4-0 ahead of half time. Nic Molcsan added a fifth in the third quarter before Harris notched his second goal of the game with a fourth quarter penalty corner. Barbados got on the scoresheet in the 53rd minute thanks to a penalty stroke from Che Warner, but USA’s Amardeep Khokhar completed the scoring three minutes from the end.
In the second match of the day, Canada were given a scare by Chile before emerging comfortable 5-1 winners. Chile matched their higher-ranked opponents in the opening two quarters before taking the lead thanks to Fernando Renz early in the third period. It was a lead they held for eight minutes before their resistance finally broke by conceding three penalty corners in quick succession, with a Mark Pearson double coming either side of an effort by Gordon Johnson. Keegan Pereira and Scott Tupper were also on target as the Red Caribous scored five times in ten remarkable minutes.
In Pool B, Japan striker Kenta Tanaka continued his impressive start to the competition with two goals in a 3-1 win over Russia to help his team to a second successive victory in Tacarigua. Tanaka – who scored all three goals in Saturday’s 3-0 triumph over Switzerland – was almost unplayable at times, scoring two high quality field goals in the 14th and 15th minute before Kentaro Fukuda made it 3-0 in the second quarter. Alexander Skiperskiy netted a consolation goal six minutes from time, but Japan were worthy winners of the contest.
In the final match of the day, Home favourites Trinidad & Tobago claimed their first win in Pool B with a 6-2 success over Switzerland. Jan Hödle gave Switzerland an early lead before T&T scored five goals on the bounce with Stefan Mouttet, Marcus James, Kwan Browne (2) and Tariq Marcano establishing a 5-1 lead midway through the third quarter. Patrick Müller reduced the deficit in the 50th minute before Shaquille Daniel bagged T&Ts sixth and final goal in the dying stages.
Like all the Round 2 events, the competition in Tacarigua – which is located around 20 kilometers inland from capital city Port of Spain – consists of teams that came through the first phase of the competition and nations that were automatically given a bye through to Round 2 due to their higher placement in the FIH Hero World Rankings. The highest ranked teams will enter the World League at the Semi-Final stage of the Hockey World League which will take place in this summer.
The top two finishers from the men’s Round 2 events in Dhaka (4-12 Mar 2017), Belfast (11-19 Mar 2017) and Tacarigua, (25 Mar-2 Apr 2017) are certain to qualify for the Hockey World League Semi-Finals, being joined in the World Cup qualifier phase by the two highest ranked of the third placed finishers from those three events. Malaysia and China took the top two places at the event in Dhaka, with Egypt (FIH Hero World Ranking: 20) finishing in third place. In Belfast, Ireland claimed a first place finish ahead of France, with Scotland (WR: 27) taking third position.
To learn more about how the teams progress through the competition in the hope of reaching the 2018 Hockey World Cups, click here, with more details about all of the HWL events available by clicking here.
You can keep track of the tournament in Tacarigua on the official competition pages by clicking here and on FIH’s social media channels using the #HWL2017 hashtag.