by Ali Lee,
(ISN) – VICTORIA – The University of Victoria Vikes men’s field hockey team persevered for 70 minutes to come back and tie the visiting West Vancouver Millionaires, 2-2, on Nov. 8. The tie gives the Vikes their first point of the season after entering this weekend 0-6. West Vancouver now hold a 2-3-1 record in the Vancouver Premier league.
The Vikes scored early and late, first from rookie Amardeep Sidhu and then from veteran Brenden Bissett. KeeperToby Owen made five key saves throughout the game against an opponent full of experience.
West Vancouver enjoyed the talents of Victoria natives Michael and Josh Brown, the younger of the two, Michael, potting both goals for the visitors. Team Canada net minder and former UBC Thunderbird Antoni Kindler was not called to duty often but when he did was in fine form. The experienced back line of Steve Davis and Matt Nosworthy anchored West Vancouver and the additional distribution of midfielder Elliot Marsh was also critical for the visitors who travelled with a short bench but picked up local players to fill their roster of 11.
The Vikes got off to a good start earning two penalty corners in the opening 15 minutes. Bissett went on a solo mission down the right side to earn the Vikes their first set piece opportunity but the Vikes squandered their own chance at the top of the circle, barely managing to get any form of a shot off. Much was the same on their ensuing corner.
West Vancouver seemed to be all over the Vikes in midfield. An excellent feed into Michael Brown allowed the youngster a free go at net but the uncontested back-hand shot sailed high and wide of the goal in the seventh minute of the game.
The Vikes finally found the back of the net on their third corner of the game. In the 22nd minute Sidhu’s perfect deflection at the far post beat Kindler to give Victoria the 1-0 advantage. The pass came to Sidhu from the stick ofDerek Wiggins.
It didn’t take long for the Millionaires to kill that lead as just four minutes later Michael Brown got his first of two goals. A pass from outside the circle found the speedy forward’s stick and all in one motion Michael Brown eliminated his defenders and was rolling the ball into the goal past Owen.
Josh Brown had another open look for West Van, also on is reverse stick, in the 31st minute but the ball fired off the cage of Owen to keep the game tied 1-1 entering half.
Just two minutes into the second half and the Millionaires got their go-ahead goal. Vikes defender Wiggins went to make a back pass but the ball speed wasn’t high enough and Michael Brown chased it down. Beating the last defender and with only Owen to face, he used his reverse stick to sweep the ball low past Owen to give West Vancouver the 2-1 edge.
The Vikes enjoyed a one-man advantage twice in the game as both Brown brothers earned yellow cards, while Wiggins was forced to sit for a five minute suspension of his own.
The Vikes seemed to be hemmed in their end but the visitors were unable to generate much quality in the circle, shooting wide, turning it over or hitting the side of the net.
Finally the Vikes had their chance when Prabh Sahota was dealt a freebie at the top of the circle. With just Kindler to beat Sahota, nursing a hand injury, pushed the ball towards goal. Kindler slid out to make the save and lost sight of the rebound, which was buried by the efforts of Bissett in the 65th minute.
The game remained 2-2 at the final whistle to leave the Vikes with a 0-6-1 record, while West Vancouver are now 2-3-1. Up next the Vikes will visit India Club on Nov. 16 at 1:30 p.m. at Tamanawis Park in Surrey, B.C.
WVAN: 1 -1 : 2
UVIC: 1 – 2 : 2
WVAN: Michael Brown (26′, 37′)
UVIC: Amardeep Sidhu (22′), Brenden Bissett (65′)