Tritons knock out opponent

Ball Hockey

The referee gets ready to drop the ball at the Pacific Regional Ball Hockey Qualifying Tournament June 21 at Wurtele Arena. Photo by: Peter Mallett, Lookout

Peter Mallett, Staff Writer ~

The Esquimalt Mens Tritons earned a spot on the Canadian Armed Forces National Ball Hockey Championship roster in Ontario after a convincing regional qualifying victory over the Comox Flyers.

Tritons swept the Totems to defeat in the best-of-three series at Wurtele Arena June 20 and 21.

They outscored their Royal Canadian Air Force opposition by a total margin of 15-0. With the victory the Esquimalt team now moves on to the national play at CFB Borden, July 23 to 28.

“Our game plan was fairly simple; we just wanted to take away their time and space. So as soon as they got possession we had a man on them trying to force them to cough it up,” said Tritons player-coach, MS John Helpard, of HMCS Ottawa.

The Tritons registered an 8-0 victory in Game 1 followed by a 7-0 result in Game 2 and  outgunned their opponents in shots-on-goal by a 96-17 margin over two games, which consisted of two 20-minute periods each played on a defrosted concrete playing surface.

Forward, LS Derek Cheetham, also with Ottawa, was named Game 2 Player of The Game for the Tritons; Defenceman LS Keelan Cook captured Game 1 Player of The Game honours and was also named the tournament’s overall MVP.

“It’s great to be recognized but really I was just doing my usual job of getting the ball to our forwards so they can score goals,” said LS Cook, an instructor with Fleet School. “The opposition fought hard right until the final buzzer, and it really takes a lot of determination to do that when things aren’t going your way.”

MS Helpard says the likelihood of getting all of his players released to participate will make their overall goal of a national championship doable.

“The Tritons never made it to the [ball hockey] championship game; it’s always been our goal,” said MS Helpard. “I have been involved with the team for eight years and this is the first time I can remember that RIMPAC and other exercises have not put a damper on our availability. We have all the players around this year that we need to be successful.”

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