By Ali Lee, Vikes Communications
December 8, 2013, NEW DELHI – It has been a long road for third-year Vike Brenden Bissett who is currently two-games deep with team Canada in the 16-game Hero Hockey Junior World Cup hosted at Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium in New Delhi, India.
The nine-day tournament is the ultimate crown for international field hockey players 21 year of age and younger. Only 16 months previous to this tournament Bissett, along with brothers Stephen and Matthew, helped Canada qualify for theprestigious Junior World Cup with a silver-medal performance at the 2012 Junior Pan American Championship hosted in Guadalajara, Mexio.
Entering the tournament Canada was ranked 15th among the world’s best juniors that include the reigning champions, Germany, along with typical international favourites Australia, Netherlands, England and Argentina. Meanwhile, for hosts India, the lively and energetic home crowd is always an extra boost regardless of their entrance ranking.
For the young Canadian squad, led by senior team members Taylor Curran, with 43 caps, and Gordie Johnston, with 25, they knew it would be a long journey. For Brenden Bissett, not only is the 13.5 hour time difference a feat he must overcome throughout the tournament but he must also do it without his twin brothers who are now too old to compete in the Junior World Cup.
Canada drew tough cards in their Pool C match ups that included the tournament opener against Korea, as well as India and the Netherlands. So far Canada suffered a 7-4 blow to Korea but bounced back to stun a home crowd to take the lead twice but eventually fall 3-2 to India. Regardless of the current 0-2 record, Canada showed sheer resilience and passion for a team that boasts more than half that are eligibile to return for the 2016 Junior World Cup, also hosted in New Delhi.
A key attacker for the Vikes and now Canada, Bissett has yet to get on the board but has been a regular starter and dangerous player for the maple leaf-bearing squad. In the opening five minutes of play against India, Bissett sent the heart-crushing cross that eventually hit the post and was finished by captain Sukhi Panesar for the 1-0 go-ahead. Later in the match Bissett took a stick to the face that resulted in stitches but he took a quick to patch up and played the remainder of the match.
Battered and bruised the young Canadians are far form disheartened in spirt and will regroup to play the Netherlands on Dec. 10. All of the games located at the main stadium (pitch 1) at the 2013 Hero Hockey Junior World Cup are being streamed live online at www.fih.ch or youtube.com/fihockey. In addition, full match highlights are available on you tube.
The Canadian team will have a rest day on Dec. 11 and they may be taking some time away from the pitch but they will be spending the morning with the locals. In advance to the tournament, with the help of the Canadian field hockey communities, the squad, with leadership from team manager and father to Brenden, Alvin Bissett, collected balls, cones, stick and other equipment to be donated to Bua Sa Hockey Village Indien, a German charity that uses the sport to teach English to Indian children. On Wednesday the team will travel to make the presentation and meet several of the children who will be beneficiaries.
Dec. 11 @ 4:30 a.m. PST | CANADA vs NETHERLANDS: LIVE STREAM
PAST RESULTS (Match Reports, Photos)
Dec. 6 – Korea (7) vs. Canada (4) | FULL REPORT, VIDEO HIGHLIGHTS & PHOTOS
Dec. 7 – India (3) vs. Canada (1) | FULL REPORT, VIDEO HIGHLIGHTS & PHOTOS
For more on the HERO Hockey Junior World Cup visit the TOURNAMENT WEBSITE