T&T’s junior men’s hockey team will flick off their second round main draw campaign against Canada in Pool E of the Pan American Junior (Under-21) Hockey Championship at the Pan American Hockey Stadium, Jalisco, Guadalajara, Mexico, from 7.30 pm tonight. Yesterday the T&T men ended in second spot in their first round five-team Pool A series with nine points, three behind Argentina. The junior Calypso Stickmen started the tournament on a high, with two wins over Jamaica (8-1) and Brazil (5-0), before suffering a 9-0 loss to Argentina and then rebounding to crush Guatemala 17-0, led by beaver-tricks from Andrew Vieira and Shaquille Daniel, the second and third top scorers in the tournament so far. Canada, meanwhile registered wins over Puerto Rico (12-0), Uruguay (6-0) and Mexico (3-0) to win its four-team Pool B series and will start as slight favourites against T&T.
The Canadians will play their second and final match in the three-team pool against Chile tomorrow from 5.30pm while the latter faces T&T on Thursday from 3.30 pm. Chile was second in Pool C after beating Barbados 6-1 and drawing with Venezuela 2-2, before going under to group winner, USA, 0-2. Meanwhile, the junior women will meet Uruguay in the second of two fifth to eight place semifinals from 11.45am tomorrow. T&T suffered a 7-1 loss to Chile in their final Pool B round-robin match yesterday to end with three points from five matches, the same as Paraguay and Jamaica. However, T&T ended with a better goal-difference of minus-13 to Paraguay’s minus-19 and Jamaica’s minus-23 . Manuel Arroz (7th, 43rd), Agustina Venegas (37th, 48th) and captain Fernanda Flores (12th, 70th) scored two goals each and Josefina Khamis, the other for Chile while Brianna Govia got T&T’s consolation item in the 57th minute. The Chileans won the group with maximum 15 points, three more than USA which also qualified for the main draw semifinals against Argentina and Canada, the top two teams in Pool A.
In the other matches yesterday, USA crushed Jamaica 8-0 and Venezuela pipped Paraguay 2-1. Argentina topped Pool A with maximum 12 points from four matches, five ahead of Canada and Uruguay, which both tallied seven points and had identical goal differences of plus-six. However, Canada took second spot and qualified for the semifinals based on scoring more goals, 14 to Uruguay’s 12. Today when the playoffs flick offs, the fifth placed in both groups, Brazil and Paraguay meet for ninth spot with the loser to face Pool B sixth placed finisher Jamaica for tenth. Mexico, fourth in Pool A and Venezuela, third in B face off in the first fifth to eight semifinal today as well while the main draw semifinals, Chile versus Canada, and Argentina against USA are carded for tomorrow. The two finalists and the third place team will then qualify for the FIH Seventh Women's Junior World Cup. If a PAHF National Association is the host, that country will qualify automatically, together with the two highest placed teams, not including the host.