Ridge ball hockey player wins gold with Canada at u-18 worlds

Damian Richards will represent B.C. at the u-19 nationals next.

A ball hockey player from Maple Ridge won gold as part of the Canadian under-18 team at the world ball hockey championships in Newfoundand.

Next, Damian Richards will represent B.C. at the u-19 nationals in New Brunswick, later this month.

At the worlds, Canada defeated Switzerland 6-2, then Italy 8-1, the U.S. 6-5, Slovakia 5-0, and the Czech Republic 3-2 in overtime.

In the semi-finals, Canada downed Great Britain, which had to put a player in net after its goalie was injured.

In the final, Canada defeated the Czechs 3-1 to win gold.

Richards played left wing for Canada and said it was the best experience of his ball hockey career.

“I like to play my off-wing,” he said.

It allows him to be on his forehand along the wall and see the floor better, to pass or drive the net.

Playing at the worlds was a challenge, as the pace was faster and more physical than he’s ever played, the athletes, in general, were bigger and faster, and everyone had to backcheck hard. There was little time and space to make plays, he added.

Richards said the Canadian team was littered with players who play junior ice hockey, even one who was an NHL draft pick of the Washington Capitals.

“Our whole team was just insane.”

He said the Czech team was also really good, outshooting Canada in one game.

Richards was the last cut from Team Canada a year ago. He was asked to play for the team this year, though, after a standout performance for B.C. at the 2017 national championships, during which he led his team in scoring during the round-robin portion of the tournament, with 12 points.

B.C. won bronze at the nationals last year.

Richards was proud to make Team Canada and was motivated to prove he belonged.

He has been playing ball hockey since age 6, with the Ridge Meadows Minor Ball Hockey Association. He played for the Ridge Meadows Renegades rep team this past season.

He also played ice hockey with the Ridge Meadows Minor Hockey Association for 13 years, the past two as a member of the midget A1 team.

But Richards won’t pursue ice hockey any further. The Westview secondary grad intends to continue with ball hockey, though, and hopes to play for Canada again in 2020, when the next worlds are held.

Just Posted

OUTLOOK18: Expect more film productions next year in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows

Tax incentives and scenery are perks for the industry

Accessible changerooms and Zero Waste bins for Maple Ridge

The Leisure Centre will get fully accessible changerooms thanks to a federal grant

Reconsidering Onni, North Lougheed and daycare lease

New Pitt Meadows council changes course on high profile issues

Pitt Meadows council to strike task force on politicians’ pay

Councillors are losing tax exemption in 2019

UPDATE: Young woman killed by train in Maple Ridge

Emergency responders on tracks along River Road

Two B.C. police officers, held in Cuba for months, cleared of sex assault allegations

Port Moody Const. Jordan Long and Vancouver Const. Mark Simms have been in Cuba since March

Sunrise ceremony at B.C. legislature honours Louis Riel

Nov. 16 marks the 133th anniversary of the Métis leader’s death

5 to start your day

BC Hydro says outages have tripled in the last five years, two men charged after alleged butter thefts and more

California wildfire death toll hits 63

Sheriff says hundreds still missing in nation’s deadliest wildfire

Harsh storms have nearly tripled power outages in last five years, BC Hydro says

More frequent and severe storms have damaged Hydro’s electrical systems since 2013

Trudeau to meet key Pacific trade partners at APEC leaders’ summit

Canada became one of the first six countries to ratify the CPTPP

Judge orders White House to return press pass to CNN’s Acosta

U.S. District Court Judge will decide on White House press credentials of CNN reporter Jim Acosta

WikiLeaks chief could see charges, US court filing suggests

Charges against Julian Assange could help illuminate the question of whether Russia co-ordinated with the Trump campaign

Most Read