Former Cowichan Valley Capitals forward Mike Hammond is playing for Great Britain at the World Championships in Slovakia. (Citizen file)

Former Island hockey players making marks on world scene

Mike Hammond skating for Great Britain, Simon Chen suited up for China

Great Britain’s first goal at the top level of the IIHF World Championships in 25 years was scored by a former Cowichan Valley Capital.

Mike Hammond scored in the second period of Great Britain’s 3-1 loss to Germany in Slovakia on Saturday, the team’s first game at the top level of the sport since 1994.

Great Britain qualified by winning a promotion at the 2018 IIHF World Championship Division I in Hungary. Hammond was on that team as well, after leading the UK’s Elite Ice Hockey League in scoring for the 2017-18 season.

READ MORE: Former Cap leads UK league in scoring

Hammond finished fourth in EIHL scoring this season with 75 points on 18 goals and 57 assists in 53 games.

Great Britain struggled in their first two games at the Worlds, losing 3-1 to Germany on Saturday and 8-0 to Canada on Sunday. They faced Denmark on Tuesday and the U.S. on Wednesday.

Hammond, who was born in England and raised in Victoria, played two seasons with the Caps. He first joined the team a few weeks into the 2009-10 campaign after starting that season with the junior B Victoria Cougars, but still ended up leading the team in scoring with 68 points (27 goals and 41 assists) in 46 games.

He led the entire league in scoring the next season, finishing with 93 points (39 goals and 54 assists) in 57 games played. He had 66 points in 40 games with the Caps before a deadline-day trade to the Salmon Arm Silverbacks.

Another former Cap took part in the World Championship Division II Group A in Serbia, as defenceman Simon (Zimeng) Chen played for Team China. Chen, the son of Capitals owner Ray Zhang, played 103 games for Cowichan between 2016 and 2018 before committing to the University of Alabama-Huntsville, although did not play this past season.

At the tournament in Serbia, Chen helped China avoid relegation to Div. II Group B by finishing fifth of six teams with one win and four losses. He was named China’s best player in 3-2 loss to Australia on April 13.

 

Former Cowichan Valley Capitals forward Mike Hammond is playing for Great Britain at the World Championships in Slovakia. (Citizen file)

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