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Budapest 2017 – Day 2 Report: Canada scores 4 unanswered goals to earn a draw against Montenegro


Photo credit : Diane Bekhazi, WPC
(Budapest, Hungary – July 17) – Canada tied powerhouse Montenegro in a great team effort at the 2017 FINA World Championships in Budapest, Hungary. With an impressive performance in the fourth quarter, Canada scored four unanswered goals including the equalizer from George Torakis with only 21 seconds left in the game.

Montenegro scored early in the first quarter to take a 1-0 lead. Canada answered back with one to tie things up as Nicolas Constantin-Bicari beat the keeper on the left side. Montenegro scored on a power play to regain the lead. The Montenegrins added one more goal before the end of the first quarter to extend their lead to 3-1.

In the second quarter, an exclusion early in the period allowed George Torakis to score on the power play to put the score at 3-2. Montenegro answered back with one as well, as Sasa Misic scored one from centre to give his team a 4-2 lead. The Canadian squad fought hard and Reuel D’souza netted one from outside with only one second left on the shot clock (3-4). Montenegro added one more goal before the end of the half, Dragan Draskovic’s lob shot froze the Canadian goaltender. Milan Radenovic finished off the half with a nice save, to keep the score at 5-3 heading in the third quarter.

Canada’s defence stopped Montenegro’s attacks in the first minute of the second half. However, the Montenegrins took advantage of a Canadian exclusion and scored one more as the power play came to an end. They were up 6-3. With a little more than 2 minutes left in the quarter, Devon Thumwood fired one from outside to put the score at 6-4. Canada managed to keep it this way until the end of third.

Montenegro scored two quick goals at the beginning of the fourth quarter, taking a 4 goal lead over their opponents. The young Canadian squad had to regroup to come back into the game. Rookie Aria Soleimani netted one to give Canada hope (5-8). With a little under 3 minutes to go, Constantin-Bicari surprised his defender with a powerful shot from the 5m, Canada was trailing by two. Reuel D’souza scored his second of the game as his shot from left side found the back of the net. With only 35 seconds to play in the game, the Canadians drew an exclusion to play with an extra-man as they were trying to tie the game. Despite the growing pressure, the Canadians showed composure and passed the ball around waiting for their opportunity. The equalizer came from George Torakis as he redirected a beautiful pass from Constantin-Bicari. Canada’s defence worked together to keep the Montenegrins away from the goal and to confirm the 8-8 draw.

“It was a good game. It showed that this team with a lot of young guys have a big potential for the future.” commented Nicolas Constantin-Bicari, Captain of the Men’s National Team

In the other match in Group A, Brazil beat Kazakhstan 6-2. Canada is will face Kazakhstan on Wednesday, July 19 at 6:50pm (local time) / 12:50 pm ET. The Canadian women will play their second group match July 18 at 6:50 pm (local time)/ 12:50 pm ET. Live stream is available via www.cbcsports.ca



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