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Budapest 2017 - Day 1 Report: Canada falls to Italy in the opening match

Photo credit: (Diane Bekhazi, WPC) 
(Budapest, Hungary - July 16) – Canada fell to Italy in its opening match at the 2017 FINA World Championships in Budapest, Hungary. In this game, Canada faced the team that may be considered the strongest of Group A. Despite a strong start, the Canadian women had to battle hard the whole match to keep up with their Italian opponents.  

Canada took a 1-0 lead early in the first quarter as Emma Wright converted a penalty shot for the Canadian team. Italy answered back with a goal to tie the game at one. Monika Eggens added one goal for Canada after a nice setup pass from Christmas. Canada was up 2-1 at the end of first quarter.

Italy looked determined to come back at the start of the second quarter, hitting the Canadian post in the first minute of the quarter. Italy’s Roberta Bianconi netted one from outside to bring the score at 2-2. Solid defence from Canada and two great saves from Canadian Goaltender, Jessica Gaudreault, helped Canada keep the score at 2-2 for most of the quarter. With only one second left on the shot clock, Bianconi gave Italy a one goal lead (3-2) heading into the second half.

Italy dominated the third quarter, capitalizing on most of their opportunities. The Italians scored three unanswered goals in the third. The Canadian squad was unable to break through the Italians defence, forced to take shots from outside. The red and white trailed by 4 goals heading into the fourth quarter.

The fourth and final quarter would open up with Kelly McKee netting a power play goal for Canada, putting the score at 6-3. Italy answered back with two goals, including a converted penalty shot to give the Italian squad a 5 goal lead. Monika Eggens netted her second goal of the game to make it 8-4. Italy scored on its next possession to regain a 5 goals lead. Canada was unable to capitalize on their extra-man advantage after the exclusion of an Italian player. Canada’s Christine Robinson then earned her third exclusion of the game, forcing the Canadian to defend. In the last minute of the game, Italy scored its first power play goal of the match to take a final 10-4 lead.

“We had a strong start, especially defensively. However, we weren’t able to capitalize on our scoring chances which gave Italy the time and the opportunity to come back into the game. This game will certainly help us prepare for our upcoming match against China “commented Krystina Alogbo, Captain of the Women’s national team.

In the other match in Group A, China beat Brazil 11-4. Canada is now set to face China on Tuesday, July 18 at 6:50pm (local time)/ 12:50 pm ET. The Canadian men will play their first match July 17 at 10:50 am local/ 4:50 am ET. Live stream is available via www.cbcsports.ca



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