Simon Tracy from Port Williams is ready for the upcoming under-19 World Floorball Championships in Halifax. He will be one of two goalkeepers for Canada.
“I am excited and nervous at the same time, I got a little bit of butterflies in my stomach but I’m ready, I want to play,” said Tracy.
Tracy has had a rapid development as a goaltender. He has played for a year and hasn’t had goaltending experience before in any sport. He was asked to play the position with his club team in the Valley because he had quick reflexes. Team Canada got to see him in a tournament in Montreal in November and was quickly asked to be on the team.
The team held training camp last weekend at Acadia University. In one of the team’s exhibition games during camp they played against Tracy’s club team from the Valley. Tracy played for his club team in that game and he impressed.
“Simon’s been playing unbelievable, he has far succeeded any expectation we’ve had,” said Canada’s co-head coach Tyler Brush.
“He just played lights out against us too so it was awesome to see.”
Canada also played against Switzerland in an exhibition game, a team that is in a higher division than Canada. Canada lost 21-2, but it was a good learning opportunity for Tracy.
“From my local club team I am kind of used to being able to stop shots and do pretty well,” said Tracy. “But now seeing teams at that level it is like yeah I can’t stop everything, I’ve got to get past that. If I didn’t stop that one, I need to be ready to stop the next one and face those shots.”
Tracy isn’t the only Nova Scotian impressing. Outside of him, defenders Daniel Henri from Port Williams and Ethan Morgan from Bedford are also on the main roster. Brush said there are four or five alternates from the province as well. They are the first group of Nova Scotians to be on the under-19 team.
“Daniel (Henri) and Ethan (Morgan) specifically playing at that fast pace it takes a couple of shifts to get their bearings and stuff, then after that there is no reason to believe they haven’t been playing at this level for a while. They fit right in,” said Brush.
As for the team itself, the coaches used the camp to experiment with line combinations and hold video sessions to prepare.
They have three games in three days from Wednesday to Friday, all at 7 p.m. at the Zatzman Sportsplex. Canada, ranked 14th, plays 11th-ranked Germany on Wednesday, 17th-ranked Slovenia on the next day and 21st-ranked New Zealand on Friday.
“It is a tough group for sure,” said Brush. “We know Germany is going to be one of the top teams in our division so that will be a tough match for sure. Slovenia will be pretty evenly matched and same with New Zealand, so if we can come out of the round robin with a 2-1 record I think we’re looking pretty good.”