Four former University of Victoria Vikes men’s field hockey players are among the recently-named roster of 18 who will compete for Canada at the International Hockey Federation’s World League Semi-Final in London, England from June 15-26, 2017. Recently graduated Brenden Bissett, as well as former Vikes Keegan Pereira, James Kirkpatrick and Matthew Sarmento will be a part of Canada’s quest for a spot at the World Cup. Sarmento, Pereira and Bissett are also first-time Olympians after competing at the 2016 Rio games.
The Canadian team features 17 players who competed in World League Round 2 in Trinidad and Tobago, where Canada finished second this April.
The eighteenth player on the World League Semi-Final team is Floris van Son, who was injured during World League Round 2, and has been playing his club hockey in the Netherlands.
The team also features 12 players who represented Canada the 2016 Olympic Games in Brazil, including captain Scott Tupper, veteran midfielder Mark Pearson, and goalkeeper David Carter.
The London World League Semi-Final is a ten-team tournament where the top five finishers of the competition will join host India, the top five teams from the Johannesburg, South Africa World League Semi-Final, and the winners of the various Continental Championships, as the 16 teams for the 2018 Men’s World Cup in India.
Canada – currently ranked 11th in the world – enters the tournament as the 7th ranked team and is grouped in Pool B with the Netherlands (4), India (6), Pakistan (13), and Scotland (23).
The Canadians open pool play against Pakistan on June 16th at 6:00pm local time. Canada’s full World League Semi-Final schedule and latest results can be found here.
The last time Canada competed at the World League Semi-Final was in 2015 in Buenos Aires, Argentina, where the Canadians all but guaranteed their spot at the 2016 Olympic Games by finishing fourth on the shoulders of a memorable shootout victory in the tournament quarterfinal against New Zealand.
Thirteen of the 18 players headed to London in June were took part in the historic game which featured 15 shots in the shootout. Canadian keeper David Carter was named Goalkeeper of the Tournament.
Prior to the World League Semi-Final in London, the Canadian men will travel to France to play three exhibition matches.