Gold medal for Battler, Canada Inline

Section: 
Sports

By Josh Howald

Easton Battler brought home a gold medal from his international inline hockey debut.

Battler and Canada Inline's under-23 team defeated the United States in the gold medal game of the AAU inline hockey Junior Olympics last week in California.

"It was an amazing experience," said Battler Monday.

"I met some great guys and played some good hockey. Hopefully I can put on the jersey on again next year."

Battler, the only player from Ontario on Canada's under-23 team, certainly made a case. He played on the team's top line and tallied nine points in the tournament, played in Los Angeles and Orange County. He scored twice and added seven assists.

While Canada, the defending under-23 champions, breezed through the early stages of the AAU tournament, things tightened up in the gold medal game. In fact, Canada trailed the United States 4-2 at the half in last week's title bout.

Canada stormed back late in the game to seize a 5-4 victory and a gold medal at the AAU Junior Olympics. It was one of several Canada Inline teams to bring home a gold medal from California.

Battler, a goaltender in ice hockey, is a graduate of the Kincardine Minor Hockey Association and backstopped Kincardine District Secondary School to an OFSAA championship in 2012. His parents, Keith and Linda, made the trip to California to take in the tournament.

Battler has returned home to Toronto and is gearing up for the North American Roller Hockey Championships, better known as NARCH. Battler is playing in the Men's Gold Division with his Mississauga league team, the High Rollers. They open the tourney, which is played in Canada every three years, on Friday night at the Hershey Centre in Mississauga.

Canada Inline, meanwhile, will now prepare for the FIRS World Championships, known this year as the World Roller Games. That will take place in Nanjing, China. Kincardine native Kendra Fisher, a mainstay in goal for the women's national inline hockey team, will again play for her country. That women's World Roller Games begins in late August.