On the shoulders of captain Scott Tupper, who scored a hat-trick in his 200th international match for Canada, the Canadian Men’s National Field Hockey Team advanced to the FIH Hockey World League Round 2 semifinal after defeating Italy 4-0 in the tournament quarterfinal Thursday in Chula Vista, California.
Canada mounted the pressure early forcing Italian goalkeeper Francesco Podavani to make a theatrical save in the first moments of the match.
The early chances resulted in a penalty corner earned for the Canadians and after a failed attempt, Canada was awarded a penalty stroke.
Defender Scott Tuper, in his milestone match, lined up for the shot and converted confidently to give Canada the 1-0 lead.
Canada kept control through the remainder of the first quarter but despite their chances, were not able to add to the lead in the first fifteen minutes.
In the second quarter, Canada continued its possession and offensive pressure earning several penalty corners but were not rewarded with a goal until late in the first half.
Tupper netted his second of the game and fourth of the tournament on a remarkable drag flick in the twenty-fourth minute to give Canada the 2-0 lead heading into the half.
Late in the game, Brenden Bissett scored his second of the tournament on a powerful shot to give Canada a commanding 3-0 before Tupper added his third of the game in the final minute to complete the hat-trick and close out the scoring at 4-0.
David Carter, who made his third start of the tournament, teamed up with the back-line to keet the door closed in the second half. Carter earned his second win and first shutout of the tournament in his 99th career match for Canada.
Canada will face Ireland in the tournament’s first semifinal at 1:00pm PST on Saturday. Ireland, the tournament’s second ranked team behind Canada, advanced to the semifinal round by handily beating Trinidad and Tobago 12-2 earlier on Thursday.