PHOTO: Canada’s Matthew Sarmento (front) and Scott Tupper (back) at World League Round 2 in Saint-Germain, France in May 2013 (By Marine Andrieux)
On the heels of an exciting match that saw seven goals scored in the second half on Sunday, Canada and France played in an another entertaining contest which ended in a 5-5 draw Monday at France’s Douai Hockey Club.
Gordon Johnston scored two goals for the second straight game, and Mark Pearson, Iain Smythe, and Gabriel Ho-Garcia also got on the scoresheet for Canada in a game which saw the Canadians come from behind on three separate occasions to earn the draw.
Unlike Sunday’s match, which went scoreless through the first half, Monday’s tilt featured sustained action from the outset.
The French took the lead in the first quarter on a deflection on a penalty corner, after two prior attempts were stopped by Canadian keeper David Carter.
Canada responded with a short corner goal of its own, which is when Johnston buried his first of the goal to level the score at 1-1 at the end of the first quarter.
The Canadians then took the lead on a patented backhand shot to the top shelf from Pearson in the second quarter.
Later in the second quarter, the French tied the game and then retook the lead, 3-2 at the half.
Pearson and Brenden Bissett both had chances to tie the game for Canada early in the second half, but the French keeper turned them away.
The French added another goal to go up 4-2 heading in the fourth quarter.
After the host team was issued a green card, Canada earned a penalty corner and Johnston picked up his second of the game to cut the deficit in half and make the score 4-3.
Shortly after, Smythe earned another corner for Canada and was setup by Johnston for a deflection past the French keeper to tie the game at 4-4.
With less than three minutes to go, France took a 5-4 lead and the game looked to be out of reach, but Canada kept pushing and in the last minute Ho-Garcia was able to find an equalizer.
Canada and France play the third and final match of their exhibition series on Wednesday at 6:00pm local time at the Wattignies Hockey Club.