By Carter Brooks
Photo by Rene Lazovy
In just two weeks, 10 Manitobans will head overseas to participate in the highest level ball hockey tournaments you could find.
From June 14-22, the International Street and Ball Hockey Federation World Championships will occur in Kosice, Slovakia, while the ISBHF U-16 World Cup will happen in Czech Republic, also in June.
Of the 82 athletes heading to Europe, 10 of the participants hail from Manitoba. With four total Canadian teams participating in the year's most anticipated tournaments (Team Canada Men's, Team Canada Women's, U-16 Canada West and U-16 Canada East) there will certainly be an opportunity for each of the ball hockey players to come back home with a medal.
The Team Canada Juniors will be sending two teams of 22 players - Team East and Team West - to Czech Republic. Of all the Canadian teams, the U-16 Team Canada West has the most Manitobans listed on the travelling roster with seven (four forwards, two defencemen, one goaltender). The men's team has one Manitoban forward, while the women's team consists of one Manitoban goaltender and one forward.
The 2019 World Championship schedule has been posted with the men's and women's Canadian teams beginning tournament play with back-to-back games at the Steel Arena on Friday, June 14th. Saturday sees the Canadian men face-off against Switzerland, before both teams resume play on Sunday. The women play on Monday against the United States, while both teams go to battle once again on Tuesday to close out the round robin portion of the tournament. The U-16 World Cup schedule has to be made official.
Suiting up for the U-16 Canada West team will be goaltender Cole Plowman (Winnipeg), defencemen Rory Neill (Winnipeg) and Tyler Teasdale (Winnipeg) as well as forwards Conner Roulette (Winnipeg), Dawson Pasternak (Winnipeg), Owen Weihs (Winnipeg) and Nate Goodbrandson (St. Andrews). The Canadian Women's team will feature goaltender Julianna Thomson (Winnipeg) and forward Angie Cerilli (Winnipeg). Forward Remi Laurencelle (Winnipeg) will be the lone Manitoban representative on the Canadian Men's team.