Brodsky accentuates the positives
Pete Brodsky, the Bermuda head coach, hailed his team's impressive display against some of the world's elite at the Masters World Ball Hockey Championships, which the island successfully hosted.
Bermuda finished ninth among the 12 competing nations with an overall record of three wins and three losses that included an upset over the United States in a shoot-out during the group stage.
The home side's outside title hopes were dashed after losing to Slovakia in a must-win game to advance to the quarter-finals. It went to another shoot-out that itself was extended to sudden death.
However, despite falling short of their primary objective, Brodsky said his players have every reason to hold their heads high having done themselves and the island proud on the rink at the Pembroke Community Centre.
“I think we did ourselves proud and I was proud of the way we played and thought it was a very good showing for us,” he said.
“We played the way we wanted to play. We played the way we trained and I was happy with the way that we played.
“We had a tough pool and were ninth overall and I thought we played great.
“Unfortunately, we didn't make the medal round and we had hoped to finish a little bit higher. But the overtime loss to Slovakia was the difference between us making the top eight or not.
“We were that close, but you have no control over what's going to happen in a shoot-out and I don't think we would do anything differently.
“We just ended up on the wrong side of a shoot-out, but I'm super proud of the way we finished up and not at all disappointed how we played.”
Bermuda ended their campaign on a winning note after beating Portugal 5-0 in a placement game.
Brodsky thanked all of his team's fans for their support throughout the tournament.
“The support was unbelievable and it was so great to see all the people who came out and enjoyed it, and lot of people there who were new to the sport enjoyed it as well,” he added.
He also believes that the tournament, in which Canada swept the men's and women's titles, was an overwhelming success.
“The tournament was a huge success,” he said. “We spoke with a lot of people who came to visit, came to play or came with players — a lot of them their first time in Bermuda — who had nothing but positive feedback.
“A lot of them said they are looking forward to coming back, either if we have another tournament or just as tourists. They all loved the island.
“All of them seemed to enjoy the facility and the island itself, while the hospitality, I would say, was beyond our expectations.”
Brodsky hopes that the event will have helped to promote the sport and encourage more participation domestically.
“Hopefully, it attracts more young people in Bermuda and also people coming into the sport,” he said.
“The more people we get playing and the more they play, then we have bigger leagues and more players to choose from. Developing the sport is the way to go forward for us for the future.
“To improve our chances the more people we have playing the better it is. It's just a matter of carrying that on and working hard on it.”