The Men’s D division is a relatively new concept to the Ballhockey.com events, with this Gateway Tournament having been the third offering of this division. Keeping pace with the Hamilton teams in the Men’s B/C division, the four Hamilton teams in Men’s D did not disappoint, with the Hellfish, Steel City Vikings, Knights, and Hawks all advancing to Sunday. Rounding out the field of teams for Sunday were the Ninja Turtles & Bucks, both of London, the Oshawa Northstars, Pickering Fresh Meat, and a handful of local teams in the Silverbacks, Flying Raccoons, Lions & Welland Rebels. The elimination games Sunday morning had no surprises with the only upset being that of the 9th seed North Stars taking out the 8th seed Welland Rebels. 5th seed Hamilton Knights defeated the 12th seed Hamilton Hawks 5-0; Niagara Flying Raccoon beat Pickering Fresh Meat 1-0; and the London Bucks edged the Niagara Lions 2-1 all to advance to the quarter-finals.
The quarter-finals matchups saw the well rested Hellfish, who hadn’t played since Saturday at 2pm, take out the Oshawa North Stars 4-2. Steel City Vikings, another well-rested team not playing since 6pm the night before defeated the London Bucks 3-0. The Flying Raccoons upset the Silverbacks in a Niagara matchup 5-2. Rounding out the quarter-finals, the Hamilton Knights, who were the early tournament favourites beat the London Ninja Turtles 8-4. Much like the Men’s B/C division, this left the field dominated by Hamilton teams with 3/4 remaining teams being from that area.
Both semi-final games were incredibly close coming right down to the wire. The Steel City Vikings were able to edge out the Hamilton Knights 2-1. In the other semi, the Hamilton Hellfish scored with just over 1 second left in the game to edge the Flying Raccoons 4-3. The Hellfish would go on the beat the Vikings in the final with a score of 3-1 earning themselves a paid entry to the largest event hosted by Ballhockey.com, the World Outdoor Ball Hockey Championships. Not leaving empty handed, the Steel City Vikings leave the tournament with their heads high and a 1/2 entry to the WOBHC event. This team has entered 2/3 Men’s D events with Ballhockey.com, both ended in 2nd place - perhaps the WOBHC Men’s D will be theirs for the taking.