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Different results for the Canadian teams on the first day of the 2018 FINA Inter-Continental Cup

Canada’s men’s team comes up short against Kazakhstan

The Canadian Men came up short against Kazakhstan in their opening match at the 2018 FINA World League Inter-Continental Cup in Auckland, New Zealand. After a strong start, Canada men’s team had difficulty adjusting to Kazakhstan’s offensive efforts falling 9-10.

Canada’s captain, Nicolas Constantin-Bicari led the way in the first quarter, scoring twice from short range and the Canadians were up by three (3-0). Kazakhstan answered back in the second quarter, capitalizing on their power play opportunities to put the score at 6-4 after the first half.

Once again, a tremendous effort from Constantin-Bicari, helped Canada regained a three-goal lead at the beginning of the third quarter. Kazakhstan continued to press, and they were able to score twice before the end of the third quarter.

The Canadian Men had the chance to extend their lead in the fourth quarter as they were awarded a penalty shot with 7:41 to play. However, a save by the Kazakh goalkeeper, and a goal on their next possession helped Kazakhstan shift the momentum with 7:02 to play in the game. The Kazakhs took a two-goal lead for the first time in the game when they converted a penalty shot (9-7). Sean Spooner and Constantin-Bicari both tallied one to put the score back at 9-9. Kazakhstan answered back with another goal, taking a 10-9 lead with 1:15 to play in the game. With not much time left, the Canadians had to find a way to get back in the game. They entered the offensive zone trying to create something, but with 50 seconds left, Spooner hit an unlucky post, and Kazakhstan was able to close the game and record the win (10-9).

“We started the game very well, but we paid for our missed opportunities in the end. We were not able to finish our attacks when we needed to. We made a few mistakes defensively that also cost us a lot. I think our players worked hard, Kazakhstan is a very experienced team, and we are still very young" said Pino Porzio, men’s national team head coach.

The Canadian Men have another important match tomorrow as they will face Australia at 7:10 pm (local) / 3:10 am ET.

Canada gets the win in a close game against China

After a brilliant start, Canada managed to hold on in the last minute of the game to earn an 11-10 victory against China in their first match at the 2018 Intercontinental tournament. Despite an early lead, the Canadian Women had to battle most of the game to make sure they came out on top against China.

Monika Eggens opened the scoring for Canada after a nice setup by Shae Fournier. Kelly McKee's shot then found its way to the back of the net to give Canada a 2-0 lead in the first quarter. Fournier also converted a penalty shot to extend the Canadian lead. China settled a little bit more in the second portion of the quarter, coming within one goal (3-2). China kept their pace in the second quarter, and they scored twice before the end of the first half (5-4).

In the third, two long-range goals from Eggens gave Canada a little breathing space, but China answered back right away netting two consecutive goals. Axelle Crevier tallied her second of the game to give her team the lead. Krystina Alogbo scored one for Canada on a great play by Joelle Bekhazi. The Canadian women were up by two goals (9-7) heading into the fourth quarter.

It came down to the wire once again between these two teams when China scored the equalizer with a lot of time left in the game. Alogbo netted her second of the day to regain the lead almost immediately. The Chinese squad answered back on its next opportunity tying up the score at 10-10. The Canadian team occupied the Chinese's' zone for a moment forcing the goalkeeper to make key saves, but in the end, Bekhazi scored to give Canada the lead for good (11-10). In the final minutes of the game, the Canadian women were able to press and limit their opponent’s chances to record the win.

"We had a great start which is always good, but it wasn't an easy game. Our offense played well, the players were patient, and they were able to create scoring chances. On the defensive side, we'll need to communicate a bit more on the penalty kill. We will need to work on these little things before our game tomorrow. Overall, it was a good team performance” commented David Paradelo, Women’s National team Head Coach.

The Canadian women will face New Zealand tomorrow night at 8:45 pm local / 4:45 am ET.



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