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Canada closes Olympic Qualification Tournament placing eighth


Despite a strong showing in the second half, Canada’s Men’s National Team concluded its run at the Olympic Qualification Tournament with an 18-10 loss to Georgia on Sunday in Rotterdam, in the Netherlands. The result means the Canadians conclude the event in eighth place.

The cumulative fatigue of playing a seventh game in eight days did not appear in the play of both teams in the opening period as Jérémie Côté opened the score for Canada before Georgia replied with three straight goals. Bogdan Djerkovic brought the Canadians within one after scoring with a man up, but Georgia added a goal to end the first quarter on a 4-2 lead.

Reuel D’Souza shined in the second quarter with three goals, but his contribution was thwarted by the Georgian offence that produced eight goals to make it 12-5 at the half.

Canada rebounded after the break, but the task at hand proved too large and the Canadians simply were not able to destabilize their opponent. Djerkovic added a goal with a man up before D’Souza scored his fourth of the game. Up 15-7, Georgia added two quick goals to increase their lead 17-7 at the beginning of the final quarter. Canada dominated the rest of the game with Mark Spooner’s second of the tournament before D’Souza found the back of the net on a third penalty shot for his fifth goal of the game. Gaelan Patterson scored Canada’s last goal for a final score of 18-10.

"Of course, we are not satisfied with the results here. Even if qualifying was always going to be difficult and that our situation was not easy over the last year, we still felt we could have done more as a group. I think it is essential to learn from this experience and face some of our shortcomings head-on. We still have a lot of confidence in this group and believe that they will achieve a lot in the future. We will take the lessons learned from this experience, and they will make us stronger in the future," indicated Brian Parillo, Men's National Team Assistant Coach.

Elsewhere in the tournament, Montenegro and Greece, two of Canada’s opponents in Group A earlier this week, qualified for the Olympic Games this summer in Tokyo with their semifinal wins on Saturday. The third and final ticket to Japan will be handed to the winner of the third-place match opposing Croatia and Russia later on Sunday.


GEO 18-10 CAN (4-2, 8-3, 3-2, 3-3)  

Milan Radenovic (Q1), Gaelan Patterson (1), Bogdan Djerkovic (2), Nicolas Constantin-Bicari, Mark Spooner (1), George Torakis, Jérémie Côté (1), Sean Spooner, Aleksa Gardijan, Aria Soleimanipak, Max Schapowal, Reuel D’Souza (5), Samuel Reiher (Q2, Q3, Q4).

(Photo : FINA) 


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