Following an exciting 10 days of hockey in Toronto, Canada at the men’s Junior Pan-American Championship, the field is now set for the Hockey Junior World Cups taking place later this year.
Argentina and Canada will join Australia, Austria, Belgium, Egypt, England, Germany, India, Japan, Korea, Netherlands, South Africa, New Zealand, Pakistan and Spain at the men's Hockey Junior World Cup in India, which runs from 8-18 December.
The women's Hockey Junior World Cup, which will take place in Santiago, Chile between 24 November until 4 December, will be contested between Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Chile, China, England, France, Germany, Japan, Korea, Netherlands, New Zealand, South Africa, Spain, USA and Zimbabwe.
At the final men's continental qualifier, the men's Pan-American Championship, Argentina continued its domination of the event after beating all opposition by an incredible combined goal tally of 62 goals, with none conceded. Canada had hopes of denting the Argentinian’s progress in the final, but in the end, they too lost as they went down 5-0. This is the 11th consecutive gold medal for the Argentina side, who remain unbeaten since the tournament began.
In the final, Argentina took an early lead, with captain Maico Casella opening the scoring through a penalty stroke. The lead was doubled when Nicolas Keenan tapped the ball in from some excellent build-up play.
The second half saw Argentina gradually wear down the Canadian defence with Tomas Domene, Casella and Agustin Bugallo all finding their way onto the score sheet. The result means Casella was the tournament’s highest scorer and the icing was on the cake for the Argentina captain when he was also named Player of the Tournament.
In the earlier bronze medal game, Chile fought back from a 1-0 deficit to beat the USA 4-1. Goals from Nicolas Bravo, Juan Amoroso, Felipe Renz and Nicolas Renz, sent the medal Chile’s way; Sean Cicchi scored USA’s sole goal.
The fifth spot went to Trinidad and Tobago, who defeated Mexico in an exciting 4-2 match. Trinidad and Tobago’s goalkeeper Kwasi Emmanuel was named goalkeeper of the tournament. Mexico’s goals came from Miguel Orthon and Raymundo Lemus, while the Trinidad & Tobago goals were scored by Kieron Emmanuel, Kristien Emmanuel, Teague Marcano and Jordan Viera.
Guyana took seventh place after defeating Puerto Rico 4-2. A brace for Aroydy Brandford of Guyana was enough to condemn the Puerto Ricans to their sixth defeat of the competition.
Argentina and Canada now have seven months to prepare for the biggest stage for junior hockey. It is an event that Argentina won in 2005 and were silver medallists in 2001.
Germany are the men's reigning champions and also the team with the best record at the event – with six titles to their name. Netherlands women are the reigning women's Hockey Junior World Cup champions.
For more information about the Hockey Junior World Cup, click here.