PHOTO: Canada’s Karli Johansen (left) and Amanda Woodcroft (right) chase the Japanese ball carrier at the 2016 Hawke’s Bay Cup (Courtesy: Hawke’s Bay Festival)
After Canada’s senior and junior Women’s National Teams opened the Hawke’s Bay Cup in New Zealand and Junior Women’s Pan American Championships in Trinidad and Tobago respectively with wins, both teams lost their second matches on the weekend.
The 19th ranked seniors, who were coming off a monumental win over the 9th ranked Koreans – their first win over Korea in 29 years – took on Japan in their second game.
The Canadians started well and kept the game close with the 10th ranked Japanese through the first half.
“I felt we played very well in the first quarter and deep into the second, controlling the tempo of the game,” says Women’s National Team head coach Ian Rutledge. Japan where very clinical – scoring of the first three chances to take a 3-0 lead into the half, which obviously swung the momentum into the half time break.”
As they did in their opening match, the Canadian women continued to battle hard in the second half, despite Japan adding two more goals in the third quarter.
The tenacity was pleasing to Rutledge and paid off for the women in the fourth quarter, when Danielle Hennig scored on a smooth dragflick to the top corner in the 46th minute, and Amanda Woodcroft added another in the 58th.
“Overall to have a one loss and one win into the rest day is not a bad position,” Rutledge adds. “More importantly for the majority the girls are playing some very good hockey.”
The Women’s National Team takes on the world’s 3rd ranked team, Australia, at 2:00pm local time on Wednesday (7pm PT/10pm ET on Tuesday in Canada).
Watch the game live at http://hockeynz.co.nz/video
In the Junior Women’s Pan American Championship, Canada’s Junior Women’s National Team was looking for their second straights win, after beating Mexico 4-0 in game one.
“The girls came out firing today and I thought controlled the first half against the U.S.,” says Junior Women’s National Team head coach Steph Andrews. “We managed to turn them over in our front half and create some good opportunities.”
The United States scored first in the seventeenth minute, but Canada answered back with a goal of its own a minute later. It was Nikki Woodcroft, finding the back of the net.
The game remained tied until the 33rd minute when the U.S. pulled ahead. It was Gabrielle Major with her second of the game. The States added another before half-time to go up 3-1.
Despite their best efforts, that gap was too much for the Canadians to bridge and two second half goals by the U.S. solidified the victory for the States and handed Canada its first loss of the tournament.
The Canadians will face Trinidad and Tobago at 4:00pm local time (1:00pm PT/4:00pm ET) on Wednesday in the teams’ final round robin match.
The game can be watched live here.