One of the biggest events in the world of ball hockey happened this past weekend in Barrie, Ontario. The World Outdoor Ball Hockey Championship (WOBHC) saw teams like the London Reapers and the Barrie Flyers meet in an attempt to walk away as number one, with the title of ‘World Champion.’ If you happened to miss our live coverage on Twitter and Instagram over the weekend, that’s ok! We’ve got a wrap-up designed to keep you in the loop.
Mens’ B Division
The B Division at the WOBHC starts out with over forty teams. From there, sixteen make it through to play on the last day of the tournament. The bottom ten of the round robin then go on to play in the C division. For the purpose of this wrap-up, we’ll be focusing on the semi-final and final games, but all standings of the tournament can be found right here.
The semi-finals kicked off with the London Reapers taking on the Stoney Creek Savages. The Savages were the defending champions, and as a result of finishing in the final four this year, they will be moving up to the A division in2018. Despite this, the London Reapers managed to win the game relatively easily with a score of 5-1. The second semi-final game took place between the London Gulls and the Durham Dirty Shwas. The Gulls took the win pretty handily as well, with a final score of 4-2.
Mens’ B Championship
The final game in the Mens’ B Division came down to two teams out of London, the Gulls and the Reapers. The Reapers jumped out to a 2-0 lead with goals from Shawn Hannon and Iain Downes. To combat this, the Gulls scored late in the second bringing the score to 2-1 for the Reapers heading into the third period. For a while, it seemed like the Gulls were going to come back. They dominated much of the third, but couldn’t seem to make the recovery they needed, and the Reapers ended up winning the B Division championship with a score of 2-1.
It’s been a hell of a year to follow the Gulls, as they’ve really been lighting up the ball hockey scene, but they were up against some real titans in the Reapers, and ultimately ended up placing second. Still, a huge congratulations goes out to the players of both teams, as their prowess was abundantly clear.
Mens’ A Division
The Mens’ A Division saw seven teams competing for the top spot. After the round robin, the four teams that advanced to the semi finals were the Niagara Rebels, the Niagara War Pigs, the Barrie Flyers and the Barrie Hitmen.
The first game of the Mens’ A Division semi-finals saw two teams from the Niagara region face off. The Rebels jumped out to a 2-0 lead, but the War Pigs managed to score, bringing the game to 2-1 for the Rebels. Following this, an own goal brought the Rebels up to a 3-1 lead. Before long, the Rebels had managed to score again, a call that was quickly answered by the War Pigs, bringing the score to 4-2. Unfortunately, a second own goal by the War Pigs brought the score to 5-2, and though the War Pigs fought tooth and nail for a final goal, they were unable to close the gap. The Rebels ended up taking the game with a score of 5-3.
The second semi-final game saw the Barrie Flyers take on the Barrie Hitmen. It was a pretty close game, but the Flyers managed to eke out the win with a score of 3-1. This was a huge victory for the Flyers. Having not won the tournament in twenty-one years of play, there was a lot riding on the final game for them.
Mens’ A Division Championship – Niagara Rebels vs. Barrie Flyers
The final game of the tournament was a very close one. It was incredibly tight and there were few scoring opportunities. After a scoreless first period, the Flyers jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the second, but the Rebels quickly responded and brought the game up to a tie. Shortly after, the Flyers scored their second goal of the game, which would go on to be the game winner.
This was a major accomplishment for the Barrie Flyers, who hadn’t won the tournament in over two decades. It goes without saying that there was quite the celebration after their win. Both teams put on a truly respectable show, but you could tell the Flyers really wanted that win, and went after it harder than anyone else. Congratulations to all the teams that competed, we can’t wait to see what they bring to next years’ games.