Following up a 12-1 win by their female counterparts was no easy task, but the Canadian Men’s Field Hockey Team put up an equally impressive performance in their 2015 Pan American Games opening match, winning 9-1 over Brazil Wednesday at the Pan Am Fields in Toronto.
Mark Pearson scored twice and Scott Tupper scored the eventual game winner on a dragflick in front of a large pro-Canadian crowd.
“It’s a big crowd here at home and lots of friends and family and those guys (Brazil) came gunning for us,” says Pearson, who is one of two Canadian men who have competed at an Olympic Games.
“We came out strong and grew as the game went on. We’re happy with the second half and happy with the 9-1 win.”
The Brazilians were able to keep the second ranked Canadians at bay for the better part of the first quarter, but after shaking off the nerves Canada was able to get the game’s first goal in the eighth minute when Brendan Bissett knocked a ball out of the air from the goalline and past Brazilian keeper Rodrigo Faustino.
After another Canadian chance off the stick of Iain Smythe, Brazil answered in the ninth minute when Mattheus Borges beat David Carter.
The Canadian crowd wasn’t silenced for long though as captain Scott Tupper made good on a Canadian penalty corner in the sixteenth minute, firing home one of his lethal dragflicks into the top right corner to give Canada the lead.
Brazil kept fighting back and earned a great opportunity to once again tie the game, but as he has done so often over the few weeks, Carter made an unbelieveable kick save with his left pad to keep the Canadian lead at 2-1.
Pearson scored his first of the match late in the first half. When another Tupper dragflick was stopped, the Tsawwassen native pounced on the rebound.
Canada led 3-1 at half and never looked back. In the second half, the scoring came fast and furious.
Within the first five minutes, the Canadians had scored three times on tallies from Gabriel Ho-Garcia, Adam Froese, and Pearson’s second of the match, a bullet hit across the face of goal.
Guest then scored his two goals back-to-back in the thirty-ninth and forty-fourth minutes. Paul Wharton rounded out the scoring with Canada’s ninth goal in the fifieth minute.
Overall, Canada improved its play throughout the course of the game to a point where it will feel comfortable moving into the next match, a tilt with Chile on Thursday (7pm ET).
“It’s a team we know really well,” adds Perason. “We were down in Chile in January. They’re no easy team out there. We know a lot of the guys. They’re going to give a hundred percent just like us.”
Canada will then close out the preliminary round against Mexico on Saturday at 7pm/ET, a game which will be played after the 2015 Field Hockey Canada Induction Ceremony. Tickets for the Hall of Fame even can be purchased here.