The senior men travelled just outside the big apple to compete in the Scott Pace Westpoint Military Academy Tournament on March 31 to April 2. It was a fantastic three days of competition with the squad finishing with a 2-2 record.
It was the first tournament of 2023 and the boys had a bit of rust to shake off. In their first game of the group stage, they faced a strong and experienced New York Handball Club who came out the gates hot. Despite the quick surge, Toronto chipped away at the lead and were down two goals at half. But starting the second half Toronto came out flat and gave up a lot of turnovers resulting in fast break goals. Toronto would go on to lose the opening match 31-20. Jason Miller led the way with five goals, with Jose Cascajares and Raphael Burkart each netting four. New York would continue to be dominant all tournament, winning the gold.
In game two Toronto took on Inter Miami. It was a defensive matchup with both goalies in fine form throughout the match. Unfortunately Toronto was unable to find a rhythm offensively and ended up dropping the tight match 18-16. Erik Sasse led Toronto in goals, netting five. The positive outlook was that Miami would go onto finish second in the tournament, showing a tough group matchup for our squad.
With the two losses Toronto was forced into the consolation bracket. Their first opponent was New York Handball Club 2. Seeking revenge after the defeat from the New York first team, Toronto capitalized, winning 26-19. Miller led the team with six goals, and Burkart added five.
In their final match the club took on an athletic Westpoint Gold team. From the hop Toronto was in control, but Westpoint would not go away. Towards the end of the game it became a one possession game. As time was winding down, Toronto made a critical mistake and fouled the shooter forcing a 7 metre penalty with under 10 seconds on the clock. However, goalie Andy Dang Vu was poised and made the clutch save to seal the win for the club. Alexis Renaud and Miller each scored seven goals in the match.
Handball Club Toronto would officially finish seventh in the tournament and despite the final results have took away a lot of experience. The club is now in full preparation mode for their final tournament of the season, when they travel to Michigan to compete in the TAHC Championship. Thanks to all players and officials for representing the club with professionalism and pride.