VIFHA championship: Tigers, Selects ready to battle in March 24 final

Posted by Vancouver Island Field Hockey Association (Men) on Mar 17 2024 at 08:02PM PDT

The scene is set for the last day of the Vancouver Island Field Hockey Association season, with the competitive division finalists confirmed and the rec teams anticipating their final jamboree of 2023-24.
Sunday’s St. Patrick’s Day action at the Lynn “Buzz” Beecroft turf at UVic saw the regular season champion Tigers roll to a 14-2 victory over the shorthanded Vikes, in the midday semifinal game.
The second semi, however, was up for grabs virtually to the final whistle, with the Victoria League Selects hanging on for a 3-2 win over Rebels 1 to nail down the second berth in next week’s championship final.
The Selects, blessed with three reserves for the game – Rebels had no spares – opened up a 2-0 lead early on goals by Brayden Chatlain and Sonny Kahlon, on a penalty corner conversion.
But the Rebels weren’t about to concede, and got one back midway through the second quarter with some determined goalmouth play by Ethan Picard.
The teams traded chances in the third quarter, but it was the Rebels who made it count, Bevan van de Berg adeptly tipping in an off-net blast from Gavin O’Halloran for the tying goal roughly 12 minutes in.
Rotating spares frequently to stay fresh, the Selects secured a penalty corner early in the fourth period after some intense pressure. Derrick Norton opportunistically put one past Rebels keeper Felix Randall as the play unfolded, giving Selects the lead for good.
The Rebels had a golden opportunity to strike back midway through the quarter, when two Selects were sent off with cards at the same time. But the Selects killed off the shorthanded situation with smart, steady defensive play and maintained that strategy to the end.
The previous game saw Tigers use a high-energy attack to build a sizeable lead early against the Vikes. Even when they shifted some players around to change the look and attempt to ease the onslaught, they still overpowered UVic, who played the contest with two less players.
Rec division goalkeeper Kelvin Kum, experiencing a rare callup to the competitive division, made a number of tough saves for Vikes along the way, but Tigers often had an extra man open in a dangerous spot.
Vadym Kirshe wasn’t necessarily one of them, as he more often dribbled his way into the D to gain a scoring chance and made good on six of those. Josh Brown and Parm Sahota added three goals each, while Javier Virk and Michael Brown had singles.
Vikes goals came from Thomas Davey and Chase Martin.
The final full-field rec division game was won 5-0 by Rebels 2 over a ragtag Marauders side featuring players from four different teams.
Chris Dahl was a terror for the Rebels in the circle, picking up three goals to lead his team. Ray Bailey and Anoop Medappa tallied singles while Owen Dahl, not tested a lot in the Rebels net, picked up the shutout.
The March 24 schedule opens with the rec division jamboree at 10:30 a.m., followed by the Vikes vs. Rebels 1 in the third-place game at noon, and the championship final between Tigers and Selects at 1:30 p.m.
Visit for photos of today’s competitive semifinals.


There are no comments for this announcement.