PHOTO: Courtesy of 2016 Hawke’s Bay Festival of Hockey.
Canada’s Women’s National Team took a small step forward in Japan in a 2-0 loss to the host Japanese Saturday in Osaka.
After dropping the first game of the four-game test series 3-0 on Thursday, the scoreline alone was an improvement. But it doesn’t tell the whole story.
Goals in the 2nd and 55th minutes by Japan were the difference, but for the period in between the Canadians showed promise, which was pleasing to the Canadian coach Ian Rutledge.
“I thought we controlled the ball for long passages and generated a lot of territory,” Rutledge says. “The goal is to progress and improve daily and I felt we did that again today.”
Mie Nakashima’s goal in the second minute was anything but a deterrent to the Canadians.
The match was close, fast-paced, and fairly evenly matched throughout. Canada controlled possession and had long passages of play in the Japanese end. But despite many circle entries, the women were not able to generate the opportunity they needed to equalize.
Canada’s best period of the match came early in the fourth quarter when they spent the first five minute in the Japanese end, but the world number 10’s defense was able to hold Canada at bay.
Japan converted in the 55th minute after Canadian keeper Rowan Harris made two saves, but Aki Mitsuhashi netted a rebound for the 2-0 victory.
The teams are back in action in the third game of the series Sunday in Gifu (12:00am PT/3:00am ET). The game is scheduled to be live streamed here.