at Big Apple International Indoor Tournament
February 21-22, 2009 - New York, USA
By Jawwad Qamar
Defending champions University of Maryland and Toronto Lions successfully defended their titles as two contrasting finals concluded a very busy weekend of indoor hockey featuring 10 ladies and 10 men teams at the 2009 Big Apple Hockey International Indoor Tournament at Riverbank State Park in Manhattan.
Finals MVP Emma Thomas scored back to back penalty corner goals for University of Maryland against their NCAA arch rivals, the University of Virginia, and the always reliable Katie O’Donnell closed out the scoring in the last minute, also on penalty corner, for the 3-1 comfortable championship win and the fourth straight Big Apple indoor title for the Terrapins. Paige Selenski had given University of Virginia one goal lead earlier, at the end of first half through a corner.
In the semifinals, University of Maryland easily defeated GOA Reds 5-1 thanks to three goals by Nicole Muracco. However, it took a sudden death overtime goal by Traci Ragukas on an excellent run through the middle for University of Virginia to prevail over a young and gutsy Team USA, after a 4-4 tie in an exciting seesaw regulation.
Virginia Early from University of Virginia and Aleix Papas from University of Maryland were both declared Dita’s Most Promising Junior for their play over the weekend.
The men’s final, a repeat of last year, turned into one for the ages mainly for the 3 goal brilliant performance by the very deserving MVP Devohn Teixeira of the Toronto Lions. After the Charlestown Chiefs jumped to a surprise 4-0 lead with crisp passing that had many thinking of a new champion, the sleeping Lions woke up as Satnam Dosanjh got one goal back and Devohn followed in the next minute with the first of his three goals to close out the first half and cutting the deficit to two goals. Devohn began the second half on an unbelievable angle goal from right and just took over the match combining well with Gurjot Singh, creating havoc in an amazing performance that left the Chiefs stunned and the spectators on their feet wanting for more. What a match and what a comeback 4-6 win! Not sure why the remarkably talented youngster is not on the Senior Canadian national squad?
Earlier, both teams took the semifinals easily with the same 4-1 result and interestingly all the scoring took place in the first half. The Lions took care of the London Gentlemen on the strength of a Devohn Teixeira hat trick while four different Chiefs scored to defeat Rye FHC.
Next on the schedule for BAHF is the Big Apple Memorial Six-A-Side Tournament to be held on May 23rd, 24th, featuring four divisions: Men, Women, U-19, and U-16. Following this tournament will be the Big Apple Hockey Festival – Mayor’s Cup, a three-day international field hockey tournament over Labor Day weekend, September 5th thru 7th, 2009. Both events will be held at the beautiful Aviator Sports Complex.