There will be seven Newfoundlanders wearing Canada’s colours at the 2013 world ball hockey championship on the men’s and women’s national teams, with the possibility of more earning roster spots before the drop of the ball in June.
Details on this year’s International Street and Ball Hockey Federation’s (ISBHF) championships were announced during a news conference Thursday afternoon in St. John’s.
The men’s and women’s championships are scheduled for metro St. John’s June 2-9, with 27 teams set to play in men’s A and B pools and the women’s division.
Pat O’Keefe and five-year national team veteran Terry Ryan of Mount Pearl, Justin Pender of St. John’s and Andrew Sweetland of Bonavista will suit up for the men’s team, while Kristen Cooze of Kippens, Dawn Tulk of Deer Lake and Amanda Kean of St. Anthony will play for Canada’s women’s team.
The three female players were part of the Newfoundland entry which won the B gold medal at the 2012 national championship in Edmonton.
Ian Moores of Bay Roberts, who will be behind Canada’s bench for the fifth time (three times with the national junior team, and twice with the senior squad), will be an assistant coach on the men’s side for head coach and GM Tony Iannitto.
“There’s definitely a possibility there could be more guys named to the team,” said Moores.
Currently, only 11 players from a 25-man roster have been appointed.
“I think Adam Pardy’s job is there if he wants it,” Moores said of the Bonavista defenceman, who is currently playing for the American Hockey League’s Rochester Americans. “And depending on what happens with his junior team, and whether there is a pro opportunity after his year is through, Zach O’Brien (of St. John’s) is in the mix.”
O’Brien is the top scorer on the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League’s Acadie-Bathurst Titan.
“Chris Sparkes (who played in the 2011 national team) and Jordan Escott of St. John’s are right there, too.”
In addition to Moores on the men’s team staff, Dave Roper of Mount Pearl is the national team’s trainer.
On the women’s team, Tom Walsh of Clarenville will assist head coach Christine Pellerin. Dr. Jessica Wade of St. John’s is on the team’s medical staff.
With each team carrying upwards of 25 players, not counting staff and supporters, tournament chairman Paul Barron of St. John’s said there could be as many as 1,000 players, coaches, officials, staff and fans in St. John’s for the event.
That means 400 hotel rooms in the city and an influx of over $3 million for the local economy, according to Destination St. John’s.
Barron said a final 80-plus game schedule has not yet been drawn up, but rinks booked for the championships are Jack Byrne Arena in Torbay and the Mount Pearl Glacier.
There is still a chance Mile One Centre could be used for some of the championships, namely the playoff round, but floor time cannot yet be booked at the downtown facility because of the possibility of dates conflicting with the St. John’s IceCaps if the team reaches the American Hockey League’s post season.