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The Canadian Women's Team earn Bronze in a nail-biter against China

Auckland, New Zealand, April 8, 2018 - The Senior Women’s National Team has officially qualified for 2018 FINA World League Super Final in China, by finishing in third place at 2018 FINA Inter-Continental Tournament which ended yesterday in Auckland, New Zealand. The top four finishing teams qualified for the FINA World League Super Final, along with China, the host nation.

The Canadians earned their qualification with a 15-5 win against New Zealand 2, in the last game of the round-robin on April 6. With the victory, the Canadian Women earned their spot to World League Super Final and would go on to play the United States in the semi-final. Canada lost the matchup against the US and had to play for bronze against China, a team Canada faced in the opening match of the tournament.

On Sunday afternoon, the Canadian women faced China for a second time this week, but this time for a bronze medal at the 2018 FINA Inter-Continental Cup. China had a strong start, taking an early two-goal lead. Shae Fournier opened the scoring for Canada, Axelle Crevier added one for Canada halfway through the quarter to put Canada within one (2-3). Kelly McKee scored the equalizer on a penalty shot, but China answered back with two goals before the end of the first quarter (3-5).

The Canadian women’s team came back in the second quarter, Fournier tallied one for her team in the opening minutes. Canada capitalized on a power play opportunity before the end of the half, Krystina Alogbo finished a nice setup play by Monika Eggens to put the score at 5-5.

The Canadians came out running in the second half, McKee scored one from outside, thirty seconds in the quarter. Alexa Tielmann netted one from centre to give Canada a two-goal lead. China found the back of the net to come within one of Canada. However, Alogbo made sure that Canada kept their lead, netting one in the last second of the quarter.

Alogbo completed her hat trick at the beginning of the fourth quarter to give Canada a 9-6 lead. The Chinese answered back with two goals of their own, but the Canadians kept their calm and focused on defense for the last minutes of the game. An excellent performance by Canadian goalkeeper, Clara Vulpisi in the third and fourth quarter helped the Canadian Women's team secure the 9-8 win to capture the bronze medal.

“We've worked well defensively in our game today. We had ups and downs on defense during the tournament, so it was good to finish the tournament with a good performance. Defense is critical in our sport, especially in this type of tournament. We are happy with today's result, and we qualified for the Super Final with a relatively new team. We didn't have much time to learn how to play well together, so I think that overall we are satisfied with our performance.” commented Axelle Crevier of the women’s national team.

Monika Eggens finished the tournament as the top Goal Scorer with 22 goals in six games. The United States recorded a 10-7 win over Australia to capture the gold medal.

Final ranking:   

  1. USA
  2. Australia
  3. Canada
  4. China
  5. Japan
  6. Kazakhstan
  7. New Zealand
  8. New Zealand 2

Earlier in the day, the Canadian men recorded a 12-6 win over New Zealand to finish in fifth place. Once again, the Canadians looked sharp on offense, and Milan Radenovic had a great day in front of the net to help Canada secure the win.

New Zealand opened the score halfway through the first quarter, but Nicolas Constantin-Bicari answered back with the equalizer on the next Canadian possession. The score would remain the same until the end of the first quarter.

The Canadian Men stepped up their game in the second quarter, taking a 5-1 lead. Constantin-Bicari and David Lapins netted two goals each to give Canada a four-goal lead at the half. New Zealand took advantage of a power play in the third quarter, but Jérémie Côté found the back of the net to keep the 4-goal lead. Both teams exchanged goal before the end of the quarter to give a 7-3 advantage to the Canadians heading into the fourth quarter.

In the most offensive quarter, the Canadian men had a great showing adding five goals. Nicolas Constantin-Bicari brought his total to six in the match, and David Lapins completed the hat trick. The newcomers, Jérémie Côté and Aleksa Gardijan each scored one in the final quarter. The Canadian defense took care of the rest on defense to finish the tournament with a 12-6 win against the host nation.

"It's good to finish off on a win, everything was coming together today, so I think this is positive. For the tournament, obviously we would of like to qualify for the Super Final, but we are a young team, and we still need to put in a lot of work and improve. I believe we all improved throughout the tournament and with work, I think things will come along for us." Said David Lapins of the men's national team.

With a six-goal performance on Sunday afternoon, Nicolas Constantin-Bicari secured the top scorer title in the men’s division with 22 goals in five games.

Final ranking

  1. USA
  2. Australia
  3. Japan
  4. Kazakhstan
  5. Canada
  6. New Zealand
  7. Argentina
  8. China
  9. Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
  10. New Zealand 2


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