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Different outcomes for the Canadian teams on the final day of group phase at the Inter-Continental Cup

(Credit: Russell McKinnon /FINA)
(March 28, 2019 – Perth, Australia) – The last day of the preliminary round was crucial for both Canadian teams as they were looking to secure the second place in their respective group. The Canadian women’s team started the day well with a convincing 16-4 win against South Africa. On the men’s side, the second-place position in Group A was on the line in the game between Canada and Japan. In another tight contest, the Japanese took advantage of their counter-attack opportunities and earned the 13-10 win over the Canadians.

CANADA 16 – 4 SOUTH AFRICA (3-2, 3-2, 5-0, 5-0)

Jessica Gaudreault (Q3-Q4), Blaire McDowell (1), Axelle Crevier (1), Gurpreet Sohi (1), Monika Eggens (1), Kelly McKee (2), Joelle Bekhazi (2), Elyse Lemay-Lavoie (4), Hayley McKelvey, Amanda Amorosa (1), Kindred Paul (1), Shae Fournier (2), Claire Wright (Q1-Q2).

The Canadian women had a clear objective in mind heading into the first quarter, settle the attack and take an early lead. Elyse Lemay-Lavoie and Kelly McKee both scored in the opening minutes of the game to give Canada a 2-0 lead. Lemay-Lavoie added one more goal moments later. Despite trailing by three goals, the South African squad didn’t give up and found the back of the net twice before the end of the first period (3-2).

Both teams exchanged goals at the beginning of the second quarter to put the score at 4-4. Elyse Lemay-Lavoie netted her third of the day to help Canada regain the lead (5-4). Axelle Crevier found the back of the net in the last seconds of the half to give the Canadian women a 6-4 lead at halftime.

The Canadian offence stepped up its game in the second half, outscoring South Africa 10-0. Two quick goals by Joelle Bekhazi and Shae Fournier helped the Canadian squad extend its lead to 8-4 early on in the third quarter. Sohi, Lemay-Lavoie, and McKee each tallied one to improve the score to 11-4 heading into the final quarter. Canada kept its pace, going 5-0 in the fourth quarter. Amanda Amorosa beat the goalkeeper with a beautiful backhand shot to score her first goal at the senior level. Blaire McDowell also netted her first goal at the senior level halfway through the final period. Eggens, Bekhazi, and Paul completed the score and helped the Canadian team record a 16-4 win to confirm second place in Group B. Elyse Lemay-Lavoie’s performance (4 goals) awarded her the “Player of the Game” mention.

The Canadian women will face Japan in the quarter-final match, tomorrow March 29 at 4:15 pm local / 4:15 am ET. Live stream is available on FINA TV (subscription required).

JAPAN 13 – 10 CANADA (2-2, 4-4, 5-2, 4-4)

Dusan Aleksic (GK), Gaelan Patterson, Sean Spooner (1), Nicolas Constantin-Bicari (3), Jérémie Côté (1), Mark Spooner, Bogdan Djerkovic, David Lapins, Aleksa Gardijan (1), Aria Soleimani (2), Devon Thumwood (1), Reuel D’Souza (1), Milan Radenovic.

In another close match for the Canadian men, it was the Japanese performance in the third quarter that made the difference. Sean Spooner converted a penalty shot to open the scoring for Canada early in the first quarter. The Japanese evened the score on a penalty shot just to see Canada’s Nicolas Constantin-Bicari find the back of the net to regain the lead. Japan was able to find the equalizer before the end of the first quarter to put the score to 2-2.

The second quarter followed a similar script with each team answering the opponent’s efforts, and the scoreboard showed a 4-4 tie at the end of the first half. Constantin-Bicari netted his third of the match early in the third quarter to give the Canadians the lead 5-4. However, the Japanese capitalized on counter-attacks and extra-man opportunities at the other end of the pool to take a 9-6 lead heading into the final quarter. A double from Aria Soleimani and single from Aleksa Gardjian put the Canadian squad within one goal (10-9) with 4:30 left in the match. Still hoping to get back into the game, the Canadians pressed hard to create something on offence; Devon Thumwood converted a penalty shot late to bring the score to 11-10. However, two late goals from Japan helped them confirm the 13-10 win and clinched the second spot in Group A.

The Canadian men will play China in their quarter-final match tomorrow, March 29 at 10:45 am (local) / 10:45 pm EST. Live stream is available on FINA TV (subscription required).



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