Wednesday, May 04, 2016


2016 World Under 19 Floorball-Women's Championships

On Wednesday, the World will arrive at the doorstep of the Quinte Region. Actually, the Opening Ceremonies took place last night. Elizabeth Manley, Canadian figure skater, was on hand to help open the games. As a matter of historical note, both she and Brian Orser were born in the Quinte Region.

The Canadian team begins their quest for gold on Wednesday morning, playing the Japanese at 10:25am. Both teams are in the “D” division, along with Thailand and Germany. As is the case with these types of tournaments, teams must play reasonably well in their division to advance to the playoffs. Canada plays Thailand at 7:30pm on Thursday. There are tickets remaining for that event, but the game against Japan is sold out! Day passes for the games on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday are $20. The finals take place on Sunday. Passes for that day are $30.

There are 15 countries represented at the games, including Canada: Slovakia, Switzerland, Sweden, Norway, Latvia, Finland, Czech Republic, Poland, Austria, Hungary, and USA. The Canadians play Germany on Friday evening at 7:10pm.

                                                               Coach Todd Crawford

There is a strong local contingent at the games. The Canadian team is coached by Todd Crawford. Crawford has extensive experience in international sport, in athletics, and as a member of the Canadian bobsled team. He is heavily involved in coaching at the high school level in Belleville. His father captained the Belleville McFarlands to the World Hockey Championship in 1959. The Crawford family was recently celebrated in print and film, at the hand of Aaron Bell. A fine piece of work, I might add.

Crawford realizes that his work is cut out for him. In 2014, the Canadian team won the silver medal at the Worlds in Poland, squeaking out a 5-4 win over Germany. Currently, the Canadians are ranked 10th in the world. As you skim over the list of teams participating in the event, you will notice that there is a strong European contingent. Japan, Thailand, and the two North American countries are the only non-Europeans at the event.

                                         Thai goalie attempts to block the Canadian shot

“We expect the offence to have balanced scoring as three lines are very deep and the fourth line is extremely active and can be counted on to shut teams down when needed,” Crawford stated. Crawford will rely on the Canadian captain, Hannah Wilson, a Belleville native, to lead the troops on the floor. Other locals involved on the team include: Alex Hoskin, and Madi Brinklow from Tyendinaga.

Braedyn Irwin also hails from Belleville, but she will suit up for the American squad. As a native North American, that is her privilege. She attends Moira Secondary School, and is in Grade Eleven.

Action takes place at the Quinte Sports and Wellness Centre on Cannifton Road. Games will be played in the Yardmen Arena, the former home of the Belleville Bulls. There may be hockey there soon. If you wish to participate in the rumour mill in that regard, be my guest! Teams will also play down the hall at “Rink B”. The final game will take place at the Yardmen at 6:10pm, Sunday evening.

The president of the tournament is Belleville’s Brett Davis. This is the first time the event has ever been held outside Europe, and is under the jurisdiction of the International Floorball Federation.  

There are snippets of the game on the web. It appears as if Dominik Hasek trained all of the goalies. On penalty shots, goalies kneel, and then flop. And they don’t have sticks!! It proved to be effective for the Hall of Famer from the Czech Republic.

Let the Games begin!

James Hurst

May 3, 2016

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