PHOTO: Canada at the 2016 Olympic Games in Brazil. The Canadian men successfully qualified for Rio through the World League competition (By Yan Huckendubler)
Eighteen men have been named to the Canadian men’s field hockey team that will compete at the International Hockey Federation’s World League Round 2 in Trinidad and Tobago from March 25th to April 2nd.
The eight-team tournament is part of the 2018 World Cup qualification process. The top two finishers of the competition move on to World League Round 3 later this year, where 2018 Men’s World Cup spots will be awarded.
Canada – currently ranked 11th in the world – enters the tournament as the highest ranked team and is grouped in Pool A with Chile (26th), the United States (29th), and Barbados (49th).
Of the 18 players named to the roster and headed to Trinidad, 13 were part of the team that represented Canada at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil last summer. A thirteenth, goalkeeper Antoni Kindler, was a reserve at the Games.
Two members of the touring roster, Balraj Panesar and Brandon Pereira, recently competed at the 2016 Junior World Cup.
After having recently been named to the Men’s National Team, Pereira will be making his senior international debut for Canada.
Panesar joins older brother Sukhi on the roster – the two join brothers Iain and John Smythe as the second set of siblings on the team.
Canada opens the tournament on March 25th against the United States and rounds out pool play with games against Chile and Barbados on March 26th and 28th respectively.
Canada’s full World League 2 schedule and latest results can be found here.
The last time Canada competed at World League Round 2 was in 2015 in San Diego, California, when it moved on to Round 3 after a top three finish. Canada then qualified for the Olympic Games through its placing at World League Round 3.
The Canadian men did not qualify for the 2014 World Cup after placing 3rd at World League Round 2 in France in 2013, and losing in the Pan American Cup final that year to Argentina. The winner of the Pan American Cup this year also earns a spot at the 2018 World Cup. The Pan American Cup will be played from August 4th to 13th in Lancaster, Pensylvannia.
|Antoni Kindler||Goalkeeper||Vancouver, BC||West Vancouver FHC|
|David Carter||Goalkeeper||Vancouver, BC||United Brothers FHC|
|Brandon Pereira||Defender||Surrey, BC||United Brothers FHC|
|John Smythe||Midfielder||Vancouver, BC||Vancouver Hawks|
|Scott Tupper||Defender||Vancouver, BC||Schaerweijde (Netherlands)|
|Gordon Johnston||Defender||Vancouver, BC||University of British Columbia|
|Balraj Panesar||Midfielder||Surrey, BC||United Brothers FHC|
|Taylor Curran||Midfielder||North Vancouver, BC||West Vancouver FHC|
|Sukhi Panesar||Midfielder||Surrey, BC||United Brothers FHC|
|Mark Pearson||Midfielder||Tsawwassen, BC||West Vancouver FHC|
|Brenden Bissett||Midfielder||New Westminster, BC||UVIC|
|Devohn Noronha-Teixeira||Forward||Mississauga, ON||Toronto Lions|
|James Kirkpatrick||Forward||Victoria, BC||West Vancouver FHC|
|Matthew Sarmento||Forward||Vancouver, BC||University of British Columbia|
|Iain Smythe||Forward||Vancouver, BC||Vancouver Hawks|
|Gabriel Ho-Garcia||Forward||Burnaby, BC||Burnaby Lakers|
|Keegan Pereira||Forward||Ajax, ON||HTC Uhlenhorst Mülheim|
|Adam Froese||Defender||Abbotsford, BC||India Field Hockey Club|