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Date: 5/13/2019
 

Host team New York City Team Handball Club (NYC) won the debut edition of the North American and the Caribbean (NAC) Senior Club Championship which took place in Lake Placid, USA from 10-12 May.

NYC faced fellow Americans Los Angeles Team Handball Club (LA), and Team Quebec from Canada in the three-team tournament, held in Lake Placid which hosted the 1932 and 1980 Winter Olympic Games.

The title also means that NYC qualify for the 2019 IHF Men's Super Globe, to be held in Saudi Arabia this August.

Match 1: Los Angeles Team Handball Club vs New York City Team Handball Club 32:34 (15:19)

The round-robin tournament saw NYC squeeze past LA 34:32 in their opening match thanks to 12 strikes from Benjamin Briffe. 

However, it was a game of missed opportunities from LA as home side NYC should have been home and dry after taking a four-goal (19:15) lead into the break which they extended early in the second period to six (21:15).

But with NYC seemingly cruising at 24:19 up and just over 20 minutes left in the game, LA staged a comeback to come within two goals, but missed multiple opportunities to make it a one-goal game. 

Firstly, instead of making it 24:23, they turned over the ball and NYC went 25:22 ahead, then again they missed the opportunity as a fast-break failed with just over eight minutes left (31:29 to NYC). 

Two further chances came and went in the 45th minute when Michael King cut in from the wing, only to see NYC’s goalkeeper Ivan Ignatovic stretch to make the all-important save, injuring himself in the process. However, the subsequent NYC attack broke down meaning yet another chance for LA, but an attacking foul on the line saw the ball turn over and NYC breathe a sigh of relief.

LA, coached by US men’s national team assistant coach Mark Ortega, did finally come within one with just over three minutes remaining as Anderson Siedel made it (32:31), but left-hander Briffe shot straight back with a NYC rocket to restore a two-goal lead and seal the deal.

Siedel ended with 14 goals for his LA side which also featured USA men’s U21 line player Zachary Reitz – recently returned from the 2019 IHF Men’s Trophy Intercontinental Phase in Kosovo – as well as USA men’s beach handball coach Jamil Abdalla and player Drew Donlin, plus multiple IHF Men’s Beach Handball world champion for Brazil, Gil Pires.

Match 2: Team Quebec vs Los Angeles Team Handball Club 30:25 (17:13)

Coached by Canadian international and former French league player, Alexis Bertrand, Team Quebec knew they had to win the second match of the tournament to put themselves in the best position of a ticket to Saudi Arabia.

And they did, as eight goals from Erhan Kip, helped them to secure a five-goal win (30:25) against a LA team fighting for their lives.

Again, Siedel top-scored for LA, with an impressive 20 strikes, but it was to not be enough for the west coast team who only had 13 players available for selection from a possible 16.

Match 3: New York City Team Handball Club vs Team Quebec 34:30 (15:13)

The Canadian side went into final game knowing NYC had to beat them to qualify through and by the 20th minute they had their destiny in their own hands, leading the hosts by two (11:9), as they did enough to keep their heads in front.

But, by the 25th minute it had all changed.  Following five missed Quebec attacks in a row due to mishandling, a strong NYC defence and effective American shooting, the home side found themselves 14:11 up. Bertrand restored some sort of order with a time out immediately after the three-goal gap opened, and his side went in two down at the break (15:13), shocked at the turn of events.

After a scrappy period in the opening nine minutes of the second half, Bertrand could celebrate though as his side, thanks to a nice drop of the shoulder and strike from Etienne Mercer, brought the scores level at 20:20 (38:56).

However, NYC went up a gear, going five in front (26:21) with just under a quarter of the game remaining and they did not look back from there, taking the win, the continental title and debut NAC representative place at the IHF Men's Super Globe.

NYC’s Benjamin Briffe was named as the Most Valuable Player of the tournament, while Quebec’s Justin Danulet was named as the Most Valuable Goalkeeper

All games can be viewed again on the USA Team Handball YouTube channel HERE

The 2019 IHF Men’s Super Globe, will be held in Saudi Arabia from 28-31 August – the first time ever a club from the North American and Caribbean region will participate in the global showcase event.

RANKING
1 NYC
2 Quebec
3 LA 

RESULTS

Friday 10 May
Los Angeles Team Handball Club vs New York City Team Handball Club 32:34 (15:19)

Saturday 11 May
Team Quebec vs Los Angeles Team Handball Club 30:25 (17:13)

Sunday 12 May
New York City Team Handball Club vs Team Quebec 34:30 (15:13)

Photo: New York City Team Handball Club

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