Current & Past Articles » Sports

Caledon Kings heading to national championships next year

August 4, 2022   ·   0 Comments

By Robert Belardi 

The Caledon Kings defeated the Oakville Rangers 7-0 in the third-place game of the U14 minor provincial ball hockey championships in Kitchener-Waterloo last month. 

With this win, the Kings have qualified for the national championships next year, set to take place in Newfoundland and Labrador. 

The program, which has only been running for the past five years, will see their first ever age group attend the national championships. 

“To accomplish this in such a short period of time, for Caledon to represent a team in the nationals, is impressive,” said head coach Gus Kourousis. 

“In my opinion, there will be a little bit more hunger for kids to come out and see that there is an opportunity to get to the national level. At this age group, the U14s, it doesn’t happen for the U12s or the U8s. For them to continue in the program, knowing there is an opportunity, it will drive interest.” 

Kourousis is no stranger to ball hockey. He has represented Team Canada in world championships in the past. 

When ball hockey came to Caledon, the Bolton resident immediately jumped on board as a coach. He wanted to give back to the game in the best way he knew how.

He slotted in immediately, behind the bench of a very talented roster. Without a whole lot of time for the coaching staff to prepare for this tournament, the Kings came into these provincial championships with a certain mindset. 

“From the beginning of the tournament, we established as coaches that we wanted to make them understand they have a lot of skill on this team. But, in order to go deep into this tournament, you have to have the will to win. That was our motto at the beginning. I told them before we left the will to win beats the skill to win.” 

In their first game of the tournament against Vaughan, the Kings came out flying. On their first shift, the boys opened the scoring. They would cruise to an easy 7-0 victory.

The same can be said against Mississauga in their second game. The Kings took care of business yet again, with another 7-0 win. 

In this 14-team tournament, the winner of each division advanced to the semi-finals. With the division on the line against Etobicoke, it was the toughest test yet for the Kings. 

Down 2-0 in the second period, the Kings, were simply not catching a break. With 0.01 seconds left to go, a shot found its way into the back of the net to give the boys life.

The Kings went on to win 4-3, setting up a tough semi-final bout against the host team Kitchener-Waterloo. 

In the semi-finals, the boys lost a gruelling 1-0 game. 

“They knew we dominated that game. But every now and then you come across a goalie that stands on his head. The message was, even though we lost our job…our mission wasn’t complete,” Kourousis said. 

“Their heads were down in the dressing room. I said ‘who was the better team?’ They all agreed we were. We had one more game, the bronze medal game, to prove to everyone we’re a phenomenal team. The opportunity to qualify was still in front of us.” 

Having qualified for the nationals for next year, Kourousis has expressed to his team there will be Canada scouts there next year. The Kings will have a year to prepare for the competition.

Congratulations to coaches Gus Kourousis, Gary Borges, Steve Da Silva and Paul Ambtman on their latest achievement. 

And of course, a huge congratulations to the players, Matthew Kourousis, Evan Borges, Gianluca Da Silva, Ben Ambtman, Christian Rotundo, Carson Dancy, Julio Ferri, Nathan Acocella 

Joseph Ferlito, Dylan Di Cio, James Gregson, Liam Eels, Evan Martin, Rowan Hedges, Kevin Rivait, Riley Dawe and Anthony Lovisa on qualifying for the nationals next season.



Readers Comments (0)

Sorry, comments are closed on this post.

Page Reader Press Enter to Read Page Content Out Loud Press Enter to Pause or Restart Reading Page Content Out Loud Press Enter to Stop Reading Page Content Out Loud Screen Reader Support
Page Reader Press Enter to Read Page Content Out Loud Press Enter to Pause or Restart Reading Page Content Out Loud Press Enter to Stop Reading Page Content Out Loud Screen Reader Support