As the door swings to a close on another year, we are recapping the top stories of 2017 and are looking forward to 2018. This page will update daily with the top 10 stories from 2017. Make sure to stay tuned to the Field Hockey Canada social media and website to follow the countdown as we head towards 2018. Facebook | Twitter | Instagram
It was not impossible, but highly improbable. To match the drama for the 2015 edition of the World League Semi-Final was a tall order. Yet, Canada’s Men’s National Team may have just done it, picking up another historic win. They did it in dramatic fashion coming back from a 2-1 deficit in the second half and beating world number six, India, 3-2 to finish in 5th spot and qualify for the 2018 World Cup.
Two years after upsetting 7th ranked New Zealand in the 2015 quarterfinal match, 11th ranked Canada came up with another win for the ages at the 2017 Hockey World League Semi-Finals in London, beating India in a major competition for the first time since a 4-1 win nearly twenty years ago at the 1998 World Cup in the Netherlands. The 2018 FIH World Cup will take place in India in December.
In April, in conjunction with Field Hockey BC and West Vancouver Field Hockey Club as well as a plethora of other partners, Field Hockey Canada hosted the women’s World League Round 2 in West Vancouver at Rutledge Field. It’s not everyday, a world class event takes place on home soil and for a team that is constantly on the road and on tours, the chance to play was well-deserved and very appreciated.
Kate Wright said, “It’s such a privilege to play at home,” Wright I think having it in West Van, which is such a big field hockey hub, same as Victoria, it’s going to be such an exciting time for girls of all ages to come and watch their National Team play on home soil and hopefully inspire them.”
On Saturday August 5th in Lancaster, USA, Kate Wright donned the maple leaf and red and white for Team Canada for the 169th time, surpassing a record of games played for the Women’s National Team, previously set by Stephanie Jameson who had held the record since 2012.
At the young age of 17, Wright accepted an offer from then Head Coach, Sally Bell, to trial with the team. At a crucial moment in her young athletic career, Bell took a chance on Wright and asked her to join the team full time. Wright made the big leap to Vancouver to pursue her dream of competing for Canada.
Now, as team captain, Wright has led the Women’s National team to multiple international tournaments – two Commonwealth Games (2010 & 2014), two Pan American Cups (2013, 2017), and a Pan Am Games.
The first game of the Indoor Pan American Cup marked a huge milestone for Ken Pereira. 400 international CAPs, the most by any Canadian field hockey player. READ THE FULL STORY
When Canada hit the field in the World League Round 2 in Trinidad and Tobago in April, captain Scott Tupper made history. The 30-year-old native of Vancouver, British Columbia joined an exclusive club: one which only five Canadian men currently belong. READ THE FULL STORY
In a year that featured a disappointing exit at World League Round 2, the WNT came back in full force at the 2017 Pan American Cup and played back up to their standard. According to assistant coach, Steph Andrews, the team showed a lot of motivation and determination to get back to that level and strive for more moving forward.
“Sometimes when you face adversity, it can be really good for the team. World League was an eye-opener for the team,” Andrews said. “The Pan Am Cup was a big turnaround, as we started to play the way we wanted to play.”
According to players and coaches, the team’s draw with number world number 4, USA, at the 2017 Pan American Cup was a stellar result and promises good results moving forward.
Every two years, the Pan American Hockey Federation recognizes outstanding play and achievement by announcing the PAHF Elite Teams. This year, for the first year ever, PAHF is announcing a 2017 Indoor Elite Team to go along with the standard PAHF Elite Teams. Canadians have long been a staple and this year, we are happy to announce 12 players have been selected. (Five on the indoor teams and seven on the outdoor.)
Outdoor Teams Selections: Brienne Stairs, Rachel Donohoe, Karli Johansen, David Carter, Scott Tupper, Floris van Son and Gordon Johnston.
Indoor Teams Selections: Gurtej Dhaliwal, Jonathan Roberts, Micah Teixeira, Kathryn Williams and Alison Lee.
Earlier this fall, Field Hockey Canada announced the appointment of Paul Bundy as Head Coach of the Men’s Senior National Team. Bundy had been the assistant coach for five years and had acted as interim head coach since Anthony Farry moved on last summer.
Bundy has been an integral part of Field Hockey Canada’s progress since 2010. He has a broad coaching resume including many years of coaching in the UK, coaching the Canadian Women’s National Team and assistant coaching Canada’s Men’s National Team at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio. The team is in terrific hands moving forward into 2018 and the push for Tokyo 2020.
As an umpire, it’s probably best to keep your name out of the headlines. The best officials do a great job and go relatively unnoticed. But with the year wrapping up, it’s appropriate to give a shout out to two Canadian umpires who are on the rise. From the game evolving to self-start passes, 3D skills, video referrals and new long corners, so has the progression of officiating. Now more than ever are the demands for quality, intuitive and fit umpires a necessity of one of the world’s most popular team sports.
Emerging from Canada are the talents of Saskatchewan’s Tyler Klenk and British Columbia’s Lelia Sacre, both of whom were appointed to the 2017 Pan American Cups in Lancaster, USA.
Both Klenk and Sacre are former high-level players, representing Canada at the Junior level, offering a unique perspective to their umpiring. Klenk and Sacre aspire to have their names ring amongst the prestigious list of Canadian international umpires including the likes of Sumesh Putra, Chris Wilson, Alan Waterman, Wendy Stewart, Janice McClintock and Margaret Lanning.
As far as hockey accomplishments go, 50 caps is a good one. But for John Smythe, reaching the milestone is even more impressive than normal considering there was a point not so long ago when Smythe thought he wouldn’t even play one senior match. Smythe’s uncertainty about hockey stemmed from uncertainty around his health.
After a career that spanned 14 years and included 232 senior international matches, Vancouver’s David Jameson retired from international play at the beginning of 2017. The veteran defender began his senior career in 2002 on a tour in Brussels, Belgium. After all is said and done, Jameson’s career goes down as one of the most accomplished in Canadian field hockey history and includes his participation in four Pan American Games, three Commonwealth Games, and a World Cup.