Bermuda win Ball Hockey World Championships
Bermuda have claimed gold at the 2013 World Ball Hockey Championships in Newfoundland, Canada, after defeating Italy 3-2 in a penalty shoot-out in the final.
The Islanders, a team made up of mostly Canadian expats, finished top of Pool B with a perfect record, after having already beaten Italy in their group game.
Yesterday they got goals from Chris Coleman and Christopher Merritt as the match finished 2-2 in regulation.
After a goalless first period, Coleman put Bermuda ahead in the second period following an assist from David Gazzard but the Italians hit back with power play goals from Vito Tomasicchio and Adriano Fiacconi.
Merritt tied it up in the third period thanks to assists from Adam Chevis and Monte Palsat, taking the game into penalties.
Bermuda were unbeaten in the tournament, claiming group victories over Hong Kong, Israel and Cayman Islands, and a 4-0 semi-final win over Great Britain.
Goalie Yan Leclerc was man of the match in the game against GB, making 26 saves in the shutout.
Ball hockey in Bermuda was started in the 1980s by a group of diehard Canadian hockey fans. Over the years they got together on Saturday mornings and a few years ago transformed the roller-skating rink in Pembroke to a proper hockey ball rink.
By the 1990s the group had grown which led to formation of the Bermuda Ball Hockey Association (BBHA).
In 1999 BBHA sent their first international team to the USA to play a local 'All-Star" select team from Leominster, Massachusetts.
Due to their strong showing they were contacted by the International Street and Ball Hockey Federation and were given a formal invitation to attend the 2001 World Ball Hockey Championships being held the following year in Toronto.
Bermuda finished fifth in that 2001 World Championship and have now been a formal member of the ISBHF for 12 years.
Since 2001, Bermuda have also participated in the 2003, 2005, 2007 and 2009, 2011 World Championships and the 2002 European Cup.
The Island team are the three-time defending champions of the Caribbean Cup (2004, 2005 and 2008),