Distinguished career of Daniel Medeiros extends to compelling leadership role with Canada
By Mark Staffieri

Having been part of national teams on both sides of the Atlantic, the career of Daniel Medeiros embodies the global scope and reach of the ISBHF. With familial roots in Portugal, Medeiros represented his heritage as their national team’s goaltender, a team that he founded.

Residing in the province of Ontario, home to some of the country’s finest players on the slab and on the ice, Medeiros has been a member in good standing for 30 years in the Canadian Ball Hockey Association (CBHA). As a player, his lasting legacy has been enhanced by the attendance of 20 National tournaments since 1997.

2017 ISBHF World Championships in Pardubice, Czech Republic

Possessing participation in 11 World Championships overall, along with his record number Canadian national championship tournaments between the pipes, more than any other goaltender, Medeiros has certainly attained legendary status on the slab.

Medeiros is the first (and only) goaltender in history to record shutouts versus powerhouse teams Czech Republic and Slovakia during international play. Recognized three times at the CBHA Nationals as Best Goaltender, along with the Most Valuable Goalie Award as a member of the Toronto Wolfpak at the 2015 CBHA Master’s Nationals, he has also acquired hockey hardware at the international level.

Bestowed the honor of the ISBHF World All-Star Team Awards in 2013 and 2015, it enriches and enhances a brilliant career that includes an impressive brush with history. The 2013 edition of the ISBHF Worlds certainly held tremendous emotion for Medeiros. Held in St. John’s, Newfoundland, Canada, he played on home soil while representing his heritage with Team Portugal.

2013 World All-Star Team Goaltender Award

Such a sterling career also extends beyond being a highly accomplished player. Among the game’s builders, the evolution of Medeiros’ ball hockey odyssey has also encompassed a managerial role. Possessing a formidable background which involved his dedication as the Founder, President and GM of St Michael’s Ball Hockey Club, his admirable efforts also included the launching of the Portuguese Ball Hockey Association.

Developing and shaping the program, establishing an important foundation, Medeiros has overseen Team Portugal competing in seven consecutive ISBHF Worlds. Enjoying the approval of the Portuguese government, he has graciously handled interviews in both Canada and Portugal, raising awareness of this budding team.

The labour of love that encompassed the progressive path of Team Portugal yielded splendid results. Participating in seven ISBHF World Championships, every appearance resulted in the squad reaching the quarterfinals. In addition, the 2013 and 2015 editions of the World Championships saw Portugal qualify for the semi-finals.

Adding luster to this proud achievement was the fact that Portugal boasts an all-time winning mark against powerhouse Czech Republic, including three wins and a pair of losses. Worth noting, two of those victories took place in 2011 and 2013, when the Czechs held the revered status of reigning world champions.

Perhaps more significant was the first win that Medeiros and Team Portugal enjoyed versus the Czech Republic. Taking place in the quarterfinal of the 2005 ISBHF World Championships, an ambitious Portuguese contingent not only vanquished their Czech opponents, it eliminated them from medal contention. Said win brought on historical connotations, as it marked the first and only time that the Czech Republic did not attain a podium finish at the ISBHF World Championships.

2013 World Championships Preparation Match – Portugal vs Italy

In addition to the glories on the slab, Medeiros developed an acumen as an administrator. From attending annual ISBHF meetings, along with reports to the Directorate, such tasks also complemented the wealth of experience obtained from his tireless efforts with the St. Michael’s club. With the status of an expansion club in 2008, it only took four years under his leadership to assemble a competitive club that would go on to capture the Men’s A Ontario Title in 2012.

Along the way, Medeiros gained strong managerial acumen. Among his efforts with said club included the important acquisition of corporate sponsors, sourcing reliable suppliers, hiring strong coaching staff, along with an effective medical staff, featuring trainers and therapists.

Such background allowed Medeiros the opportunity to attain a celebrated summit. Named as the General Manager for Canada’s national men’s team on July 11, 2018, the proud milestone brings the celebrated career of this gregarious goaltender full circle. Reflecting on a defining moment early in his career wearing the Maple Leaf, it serves as a motivational factor, one which he hopes can inspire a new generation of players, while offering an element of redemption,

“In 1998, I was the starting goaltender for Team Canada at the World Championships in Litomerice, Czech Republic. That year we lost a controversial game in the semifinal vs. the host team. We ended up with a bronze medal but I always wanted another opportunity to win Gold for Canada.”

1998 Semi Final – Canada vs Czech Republic in Litomerice, Czech Republic

Worth noting, the prestige of the General Manager’s role has also run parallel to a new chapter in his playing career. Medeiros remained linked to his competitive roots as he wore Canada’s colors at the 2016 ISBHF Master’s Division. Capturing a gold medal, it marked a proud milestone, providing the accomplished goaltender with the thrill of international gold.

Returning to the Canadian contingent that competed in the third ISBHF Masters, contested in Bermuda from September 25-30, 2018, Medeiros shared goaltending duties with Claude Fortin and Andrew Platt. Part of Canada’s double gold performance, as the women’s team also reached the celebrated summit of the world’s finest, both victorious teams also share the common lineage of elite play at the CBHA Nationals.

2018 ISBHF Masters World Champions – Daniel Medeiros and Pedro Cabral

“Francois Chalut was the GM of Masters Team Canada – I had the pleasure of being one of the goaltenders. It was truly an honour to wear the maple leaf on my chest and play for my country.

Winning gold was a special feeling especially in a unique place like Bermuda. I really enjoyed playing with many of the legends of our sport in the Masters age group.”

In the aftermath of the Masters, the focus of Medeiros remains the task of bringing Canada back into the gold medal conversation, aspiring for a return to the top of the podium. Announcing the team that shall represent Canada at the 2019 ISBHF Worlds in Kosice, Slovakia, the country’s second largest city, and co-host of the 2011 IIHF World Championships.

As the city shall take on the role of co-host once again for the 2019 IIHF World Championships, it marks a revered time in the city’s sporting history, which would add to the jubilation of Medeiros’ golden ambitions. From the Steel Arena hosting world class ice hockey in May, followed by the arrival of the world’s finest ball hockey talent one month later, Medeiros has assembled a highly balanced roster, led by head coach Ian Moores and assistant coach Alex Bovoletis.

With seven players from Newfoundland, six from Ontario, and five from Alberta, while six hail from four other provinces (British Columbia, Manitoba, Québec, Saskatchewan), the crown jewel of the roster features Tampa Bay Lightning prospect Danick Martel. Another unique NHL connection to the roster involves Nathan Belliveau. Currently serving as a trainer for the New Jersey Devils, he shall take on the same duties for Team Canada in 2019.

Considering that the 2019 ISBHF Worlds shall mark the first major international tournament for Medeiros as General Manager of Canada’s team, the chance to emerge with a gold medal in his debut would signify his greatest achievement. As a side note, it would also supply Medeiros with his third gold medal in four years.

Undeniably, the opportunity to serve in this capacity has been a labour of love for Medeiros. Employing an unbridled enthusiasm which suits his long-standing appreciation of the game, Medeiros is part of an exclusive group of individuals in the lore of the sport that are both world-class competitors and executives,

“Being GM is definitely a lot of work but I do with love and passion. The most enjoyable thing so far has been getting to know all of the great players across Canada and watching them compete for a position on the team. I am truly looking forward to our trip to Kosice – ball hockey is a wonderful sport to watch especially at its highest level.

“All quotes obtained first hand unless otherwise indicated”

Images supplied by Daniel Medeiros

Acknowledgements: Colin Gennoe