Feature Photo: Emma Van Mol
Canada’s Women’s National Team is back on home soil for the first time since last summer. They arrive home after completing a five-game sweep of Scotland last week. They will take part in a week-long training camp in Victoria, BC from June 1-8 on the University of Victoria campus. The team is in its final preparation stage for the 2019 Hockey Series Final starting in Valencia, Spain on June 19.
According to veteran defender, Shanlee Johnston, the series against Scotland added to their confidence that the team is on the right track and can get results against teams ranked above them. It’s another piece of evidence that their dedicated centralized training over the last year in Belgium is paying off.
“We have been working consistently for the last nine months on increasing our conversion rates in the circle and I think we really made strides in that area in Scotland,” Johnston said. “We scored a lot of goals that we weren’t scoring last year at the commonwealth games.”
Last year in April, the team tied Scotland in pool play at the 2018 Commonwealth Games. Last week Canada won all five matches against Scotland, currently ranked 18th in the world. Canada outscored Scotland 20-4 over five games with Canada’s Brie Stairs leading the way with four goals during the series. The goal keeper combination of Kaitlyn Williams, Rowan Harris and Lauren Logush backstopped Canada, only allowing four goals over five matches. Canada added a 6-0 thumping of France during a final tune-up match in Belgium before heading home.
Scotland Game Results
May 15: Canada 4 – 1 Scotland
May 16: Canada 3 – 0 Scotland
May 18: Canada 4 – 1 Scotland
May 19: Canada 7 – 1 Scotland
May 21: Canada 2 – 1 Scotland
At the Hockey Series Finals in June, Canada will face Spain, Namibia and Belarus in their pool-play games before crossing over against the likes of South Africa, Italy and Wales. Despite being ranked 21st in the world, Canada has notched wins over nine teams ranked ahead of them since the start of 2018. They are on an upward trend and peaking at the right time.
Johnston said they have a plan, they are on track and they are going to stick to that. “We have been relentless for the past two years doing everything we can to better ourselves and our team and that doesn’t stop before a tournament,” she said. “We are confident in our preparation and we will continue to prepare with tuning up our set plays, doing video research on other teams, while maintaining strength and fitness and staying technically sharp.”
The team starts their week-long training camp this weekend in Victoria, BC. Look for a roster announcement and Hockey Series Finals tournament preview next week on the FHC Website.
Canada takes on Scotland in a five-game test series in Glasgow, Scotland. Photos/Emma Van Mol