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Indo-Canadian Dominated West Coast Express To Play Ball Hockey Tournament In Czech Republic

VANCOUVER – The Indo-Canadian dominated West Coast Express ball hockey team will be departing on Monday (February 2nd) for Pilsen, Czech Republic to represent Canada in the sport of ball hockey at the Pilsen Challenge Cup.

The Pilsen Challenge Cup is a tournament for ball hockey club teams from different countries. The West Coast Express Ball Hockey Club is mostly made up of players from the Lower Mainland area, including a number of top Indo-Canadian players.

Between the pipes the team has Deep Toor (Surrey), two time JTC goalie (U16 gold in 2010 and U20 4th place in 2014). Along with his world experience, Deep has played in four junior nationals with his most memorable one being on West Coast Express Head Coach Gary Slavin’s U15 provincial team in 2009 when BC won its first ever national title.

As a defensive style coach, Slavin couldn’t be any happier with the defensive squad. Jas Kahlon (Richmond) is a three time JTC defenseman (U16 gold 2010, U18 gold 2012, U20 4th place 2014), and has been the strongest defenseman at over four junior nationals. Along with Jas and Jag on defense, Zoravar Sandhu (Richmond) has had four years experience at the junior nationals and will be a strong defensive defenseman for us.

Canada’s trademark in ball hockey players have been highly skilled stick handlers with great speed, this forward lineup is not at all short of this. Our forward lineup consists of Paul Chima (Burnaby) who is a four time junior national player and Teenu Bassi (New Westminster) who is one of our Assistant Captains, has world experience as part of the U18 Junior Team Canada staff in 2014.

“As we have a solid roster heading over, we know we are up against very strong teams from europe,” added Slavin. Teams committed to the tournament are: HBC Plzen (Czech Republic host), currently third place in czech extra league. Oberwil Rebells (Switzeraland) – mostly national team players of Switzerland that will be in Zug at the world mens championships in June 2015. HBK HOKEJMARKET Skalica (Slovakia) – silver team from world cup 2014 in Nitra, currently in third of slovak extra league.

“For our first, of what I hope is many Pilsen Challenge Cups that we look forward to attending, we are coming there with two goals – represent our country with pride and come home with some hardware,” said Slavin. You can follow all the tournament game statistics and results at: www.hbcplzen.cz

“This tournament is for highly skilled men’s ball hockey clubs and have showcased some of the top players in the world from various countries,” said Slavin. “It was a perfect fit to make 2015 the first time ever that a Canadian team will travel to the Czech Republic for the Cup. I am truly excited and very happy I waited until now to take a club team over,” said Slavin. “It was perfect to wait all these years, our West Coast Express team has a ton of talent that has played in past junior world championships as well as many years of junior and men’s national experience – you could say it’s a dream team,” added Slavin.

As our team is made up of players mostly from the 20-26 year old range, Slavin has at one point or another coached many of these players at various ball hockey levels. “It’s nice to return to the world stage as a coach, my last international coaching trip was the U18 JTC in 2008 where we won gold in Zvolen, Slovakia. I’m very proud that Jagpal Sandhu (Vancouver), that was part of that team, is on this squad as one of our strongest defenseman and team captain. Our depth of international experienced players starts with Jag as he has two gold medals as a JTC player in 2008 and 2010 and as a U16 coach took bronze with the team in 2012 and silver in 2014.

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