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Canadian men and women to play for bronze at the 2019 FINA Inter-Continental Cup

(March 30, 2019 – Perth, Australia) – After earning their qualification for the Super Final in intense matchups, the Canadian teams were a similar challenge in the semifinals. The Canadian women were able to score seven goals against a strong American squad but came out on the losing end in the second semi-final of the day. The US will play for gold after a 14-7 win while the women’s national team will face China in the bronze medal match. On the men’s side, the last semi-final was a rematch between Canada and Australia. The Australians came out on top on Saturday, recording the 14-7 win for a spot in the gold medal match. The Canadian men will face Kazakhstan in the bronze medal match on Sunday.

CANADA 7 – 14 USA (1-4, 1-2, 4-5, 1-3 )

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

In an all North American semi-final, it was another intense match between Canada and the United States. The American squad had a strong start taking a 3-0 lead early into the game. Canada’s answer came from Captain Krystina Alogbo who beat her defender to put her team on the scoreboard. A power-play goal gave the US a 4-1 lead at the end of the first quarter.

The Canadians limited their opponents to only a few occasions in the second quarter. Shae Fournier netted her first of the night to bring Canada within two goals (2-4). USA added two more goals to show a 6-2 advantage after the first half.

This tight contest continued in the third quarter. The US scored two quick goals to extend their lead to 2-8. The Canadians answered back on the power play with goals by Shae Fournier and Elyse Lemay-Lavoie. The two squads exchanged goals in the final minutes of the quarter; Lemay-Lavoie tallied her second of the match while Hayley McKelvey benefited from a deflection to bring the score to 6-10. A late third quarter goal gave the US an 11-6 advantage over the Canadians.

The Canadian women’s team was looking to create something on offence in the final quarter. The US team extended its lead to 12-6 early in the fourth period. Canada’s Joelle Bekhazi answered right away with a precise shot to beat the US goalkeeper. USA concluded the semi-final with two unanswered goals to earn a 14-7 win and move on to the gold medal game.

Despite the result, the Canadian women were able to find the back of the net seven times against a disciplined defence “Even though the result wasn’t what we wanted. Some positive things came from this game. We were able to score 7 goals against the US, which is more than most teams and we were more aggressive on offence which is a big step for us. We had some breakdowns on defence which we will need to work on in training. We will be playing for a medal tomorrow against China. These high-pressure games are great opportunities for us to learn and grow as a team.” explained women’s national team athlete, Joelle Bekhazi.

The women’s bronze medal match between Canada and China will take place tomorrow at 16:15 local time/ 4:15 am EST. Live stream is available via FINA TV (subscription required).

CANADA 7 – 14 AUSTRALIA (1-4, 3-4, 2-5, 1-1)

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

In a rematch of the first game of the tournament, Canada and Australia were fighting for a spot in the gold medal game. The local favourites looked determined coming into the match, and they scored three unanswered goals in the opening minutes of the game. Aleksa Gardijan stopped Australia's sequence on the Canadian power play and opened the scoring for the red and white. The Aussies added one more goal before the end of the first quarter to take a 4-1 lead.

Canada and Australia exchanged opportunities in the second quarter. Australia took advantage of a penalty shot to extend the lead to 5-1. Reuel D’Souza netted his first of the night at 4:08 before setting up Nicolas Constantin-Bicari with a great pass to help him beat the keeper with the backhand shot and put Canada within three goals (3-6). A powerful shot from Devon Thumwood helped the Canadians staying in the game, trailing 4-8 at the end of the first half.

The Aussies extended their lead in the third quarter, taking advantage of every opportunity to show a 13-6 lead heading into the final quarter. Australia limited the chances for Canada in the fourth quarter and confirmed the 14-7 victory. The Australians will face the Japanese for the gold medal while the Canadians will play Kazakhstan in the third-place match.

“We knew that the Aussies would put their best foot forward today to earn a spot in the final in front of their fans. Unfortunately, we didn’t match their intensity early in the game, and we paid for it. This is a learning experience for us as a young team, and we want to do everything in our power to bring home the bronze medal tomorrow” commented Reuel D’Souza of the men’s national team.

The men’s bronze medal match between Canada and Kazakhstan will take place tomorrow at 14:45 local time/ 2:45 am EST. Live stream is available via FINA TV (subscription required).



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