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Canada finishes in 4th place after a heartbreaking loss against Russia

Kunshan, China, June 2, 2018 – In another hard-fought battle, the Canadian women’s team fell to Russia and had to settle for the fourth place at the 2018 World League Super Final in Kunshan, China. In an intense game where neither team was able to pull away, it looked like the shootout would be the only way to determine the winner. However, the Russians recovered the ball with less than 10 seconds on the clock and launched the counter-attack, Daria Ryzhkova capitalized on this opportunity and scored with one second on the clock to help her team capture the bronze medal. The Canadians’ defence played a great game, limiting Russia’s chances and keeping the score low.

Monika Eggens scored the opening goal for Canada at the early minutes of the first quarter. Russia answered back with two quick goals to take the lead. Elyse Lemay-Lavoie won her battle in the centre to even the score at 2-2 at the end of the first. The Canadian squad controlled the ball at the beginning of the second quarter, Emma Wright found the back of the net to give her team the lead. Russia tied the game on a penalty shot just to see Wright convert a penalty shot to help Canada take the lead. The Russians were able to tie the score (4-4) before the end of the first half.

It was the same story in the second half, and both teams were solid on defence meaning every goal was crucial. The Russians took the lead with three minutes to play in the quarter (5-4). Canada’s answer came in the last minute of the third, Axelle Crevier finished a beautiful play by Wright to put the score at 5-5. The two teams were head to head once again in the final quarter, Russia took the lead on a counter-attack effort with a little over three minutes to play. The Canadians kept their cool and continued their work on defence. Canada got the opportunity to level it up on the power play, Emma Wright fired a skip shot to complete her hat trick to put the score at 6-6 with 1:40 to play. Canada’s goalkeeper, Clara Vulpisi, stepped up once again for the Canadians, guiding her players and making important saves in the last minute of the game. Canada’s last attempt was stopped, and the Russians quickly launched the counter-attack to score the game-winner on the final buzzer.

“I believe this was our best game of the tournament. We played great on defence; it’s still a struggle on offence with our average goals scored. I’m very proud of the girls and the efforts they put into the game. We thought we were going to a shootout, but these things happen, we need to learn from our mistakes” said Haris Pavlides, Women’s national team head coach.

“We started the game with a lot of intensity, and we worked hard from start to finish. It’s a heartbreaking finish for us, especially with the winning goal coming in the final second. Despite the loss, it was important for us to finish in the top 4 for the second year in a row in this tournament. The season is not over, we have the FINA World Cup in Russia in September, it will be crucial for us to refocus and continue our work starting in a couple of days with the training camp in Japan” commented Clara Vulpisi after the game.

“We had a good tournament. Without much preparation, we finished in the top 4 for the second year in a row. This is a good result. We are now starting our preparation for the FINA World Cup, and we want to be on the podium in September.” added Canada’s assistant coach, David Paradelo.

The Canadian women’s team will travel to Morioka, Japan where they will participate in a joint training camp and friendly games with the Japanese national team. They will be back in Montreal in July to continue their preparation for FINA World Cup, taking place September 4-9, 2018 in Surgut, Russia.

In the final game of the tournament, the United States edged the Netherlands 8-6 to win the gold medal.


Emma Wright (3)

Monika Eggens

Elyse Lemay-Lavoie

Axelle Crevier

Starting Goalkeeper: Clara Vulpisi

Fi nal rankings

  1. USA
  2. Netherlands
  3. Russia
  4. Canada
  5. Spain
  6. China
  7. Australia
  8. Japan


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