After two minutes into the Hockey Tridents’ last pool game at the Hockey World League Round 2 in, Tacarigua, Trinidad and Tobago Tuesday evening, the score was 2-0 to Canada, Ho-Garcia having found the back of the nets twice. Just over an hour later the Tridents had slumped to a 10-0 whipping.
Following a respectable showing in the their first outing and a dip in performance in their second game, the Bajan boys would have been looking for another performance above their 49th FIH world Ranking.
However, world 11th ranked Canada took adavantage of a slow shaky start by the lads in aquamarine and gold.
With the odds stacked very high against them, the Hockey Tridents seemed to find the rhythm of the game and had a solid passage of play mounting from the midway through the first quarter. Custodian Keenan Knight, a huge part of fightback, had a number of saves keeping his team’s deficit at two.
As things seemed to be settling, Laurando Davis would cough up the ball in midfield and Canada, bossing the game for the last two minutes of the quarter, added another two goals to go in at the break 4-0 up.
Whatever coach Dominic Hill told his charges during the break seemed to energise and settle them. The Hockey Tridents showed good passages of possession and building attacks and circle penetrations for the first time in the game with some consistency.
Canada were still able to add to the scoreline, however, in the 20th and the 28th.
Albeit against the run of play, the first goal in the second quarter came after a challenge on defender Jamar Small saw Canada intercept a wayward pass setting up a two versus one situation with the hard-working Knight giving Ho-Garcia his hat-trick.
Che Warner added his two cents to the efforts of Knight when in the 25th minute he made a brilliant save on the line off a penalty corner to keep Hockey Tridents’ momentum high.
The next three minutes saw the local lads throw everything they could muster as the Canadians and eventually where rewarded with a penalty corner.
Barbados were unable to convert and then were slow to get back into the game and Canada, capitalising on a quick restart, added another to their tally just before the half time break.
The Hockey Tridents again came out of the break energised and traded punches with Canada fairly evenly for the first five minutes of the half, yeoman performances by Warner, Knight and Khodi Gibson saw that the scoreline remained the same.
Akeem Rudder, meanwhile, was left alone to find a breakthrough.
Marlon Daniel in a rare foray forward tried to link with Rudder, but Canada having answers for the questions being asked, posed a few of their own and Barbados did not have any answers for the Canadian’s counter attacks.
The result was Knight being held under siege in his goal, after the 38th minute, by a barrage of penalty corners ticking the score over to 8-0.
Knight and Small would go to work in the remaining minutes of the quarter to keep the scoreline where it was, with Warner adding his efforts with more goal-line heroics off a Canadian penalty corner. However, in the last minute of the period after two saves by Knight the persistent Canadian penalty corner unit would snatch another, making the score 9-0 going into the last quarter.
Warner again would put it all on the line and appeared to be everywhere on the field making the necessary tackles and helping the Hockey Tridents gain precious ground going forward.
Another wayward pass, however, would undo all the good work the local boys had been putting in and Canada, finding the centre of the field wide open, Mark Pearson helped himself to his second of the game and made it 10-0 for his team.
This is how it would stay for the rest of the game as the Hockey Tridents kept their opponents at bay in the remaining minutes. Coach Hill would have a lot to be proud of and definitely a lot to work with going forward as the scoreline was a bit unrepresentative of the effort and level of the game.
The Hockey Tridents will now wait to see who tops the next group and will step onto the field for their quarterfinal Thursday at 8 p.m.