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Funchal 2019: Canada tops New Zealand to record first win at the Junior World Championships

(Funchal, Madeira – September 11, 2019) – The Canadian women conclude the preliminary round in third place of Group D after an 8-4 win against New Zealand this morning in Funchal. The Canadian squad had difficulty finding its grounding in the opening minutes of the game, trailing 1-2 at the end of the first. Canada was much more convincing in the second half, and the team recorded an 8-4 win.

With a spot in the top 12 on the line, a battle was expected between these two nations. Gabrielle Milicich scored early in the first quarter while Emmerson Houghton converted her penalty shot to give New Zealand a 0-2 lead. Adrien Van Dyke put one on the board for Canada, before the end of the first quarter (1-2).

The Kiwis added one on the power play in the opening minute of the second quarter, but goalkeeper Marianne Bouchard-Côté made two crucial saves to keep Canada in the match. Floranne Carroll fired one from the center to put her team within one halfway through the quarter, and then found the equalizer for the Canadians (3-3).

Apryl Gonzalez beat the goalkeeper with a precise shot early in the third quarter to see Carroll complete her hat-trick and help Canada take the lead 5-3. The Canadians continued to put pressure on defence, a steal by Verica Bakoc led to a goal by Blaire McDowell. Gonzalez netted her second of the game with just one second left on the clock to give the Canucks a 7-3 advantage heading into the fourth quarter.

Both teams had singles in the fourth quarter. A brilliant play by Bakoc gave Canada a five-goal advantage (8-3) early in the period while New Zealand scored on a penalty with 4:05 to go. The Canadians held on to record the 8-4 win and move on to the crossover stage.

“We had a bit of trouble in the first few minutes of the game. We kept missing our opportunities and couldn’t figure out how to set the game to our pace. At one point, we were down 3-1, and from there, it can go one way or another. We just had to stay in the game and play together. That’s what we did, and in the end, we came out on top. It definitely feels good to get that first win, but there is still lots of polo to go. We need to focus right away on what’s coming up. For our upcoming game against Italy, I’m expecting a battle. I’m sure they will come out strong and physical. We just need to be ready to fight back and play our game,” mentioned Floranne Carroll after the game.

Canada will face Italy in the crossover tomorrow at 18:40 local time / 13:40 ET. Live stream is available on FINA TV (subscription required).

Canada 8-4 New Zealand (1-2, 2-1, 4-0, 1-1)

Hana Truchla, Blaire McDowell (1), Ava Morrant, Brianna Utas, Adrien Van Dyke (1), Verica Bakoc (1), Valeria Rojas, Daphné Guèvremont, Apryl Gonzalez (2), Floranne Carroll (3), Myriam Lizotte, Paige Donald, Marianne Bouchard-Côté.



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