A local ball hockey player has a bit more to celebrate as a gold medal holder from the 2023 Masters World Ball Hockey Championships in Buffalo, New York.
Sean Phair of the Comox Valley, who is a player on the North Island Jets, came home with the gold after the Canadian team defeated the American team 4 – 3 in a shootout and went undefeated in the tournament.
Phair says it was the same story for the women’s team, who went on to defeat the Americans 3 – 0 in their final. He adds the games were very tight and action packed, but the team was able to hold it together.
“As the tournament progressed the team just got better,” said Phair. “It was the most fans I’ve ever played for, it was pretty cool.”
He adds the experience is making him look at how popular the sport is becoming, with many countries not normally associated with hockey taking part.
“They can all run, a lot of these European countries are soccer countries. They’re all fit, really good runners, they always bring a full bench and almost half the teams play locally in Canada,” said Phair. “It’s a pretty good sport if you can get as far as we’ve made it.”
Phair adds that with the tournament over, the ball hockey season is mostly over on the Island but continues on the mainland. They are working to get more teams playing throughout the year.