VANCOUVER – Two UBC Thunderbirds, along with 11 alumni, are in Chula Vista, Calif., playing for Canada’s men’s national team in the International Hockey Federation’s Men’s World League Round 2. 
“The UBC men’s field Hockey program continues to make a strong contribution in the national and international arena while also maintaining a high standard locally,” said UBC head coach Shiaz Virjee. “The varsity team sits in second place with two games to go in the league schedule.
“We wish the very best to our athletes and the national team in the quest to qualify for the Rio Olympic Games.”
Canada is competing against seven other teams at the event. Of the eight teams in the tournament, the top three finishers at World League Round 2 will earn spots in World League Round 3 set to take place in June in Buenos Aires, Argentina. The top four teams in Round 3 will earn qualification to the 2016 Olympic Summer Games in Brazil. 
The squad can also qualify for the upcoming Olympics through the competition at the Pan American Games in Toronto in July.
Forward Matthew Sarmento and defender Paul Wharton, both Vancouverites, are the two current T-Birds with Team Canada. Two others, midfielder Oliver Scholfield (Jersey, United Kingdom) and defender/midfielder Arif Virjee (Vancouver), are alternates.
The nine UBC alumni are: goalkeeper David Carter (Vancouver), midfielder Taylor Curran (North Vancouver), midfielder David Jameson (Vancouver), defender Gordon Johnston (Vancouver), goalkeeper Antoni Kindler (Vancouver), defender Ben Martin (Vancouver), midfielder Mark Pearson (Delta), midfielder John Smythe (Vancouver) and defender Scott Tupper (Vancouver), who will also serve as the team’s captain.
The Canadian men’s national team is coming off a training tour in Santiago, Chile, during which they played six test matches against the host Chileans. In the final match of the series, the Canadians won handily by a score of 4-0, and finished with a record of three wins, a draw and two losses.