Khanty-Mansiysk, Russia - Team Canada lost today against Italy by a score of 7-5 in their final game at the 8th FINA Women’s Junior World Championships being held in Khanty-Mansiysk, Russia. With this loss, Team Canada finishes sixth overall.
Goal scorers for Canada today were Sarah McIlveen (York Mavericks – Scarborough, Ontario) and Shae Fournier (Bushido – Winnipeg, Manitoba) each finding the back of the net twice while Kirstn Mase (Pacific Storm - Port Moody, British Columbia) scored once. Michele Relton (DDO Water Polo Club – Beaconsfield, Quebec) handled the goal tending duties for Canada today.
Canada opened the scoring today on a power play goal by McIlveen just over a minute into the first quarter. The Italians would answer back with 2:16 left in the first and the quarter would end 1-1. Italy scored the first two goals of the second quarter before McIlveen would score her second of the day, again on the power play, to pull Canada within one at 3-2. The Italians would again go on a 2-0 run to bring the score to 5-2 Italy at the half.
The third quarter saw Canada close the score to 5-4 on two power play goals by Fournier but a defensive breakdown led to an Italian goal with only four seconds left in the third. Italy was ahead 6-4 going into the fourth. Early in the fourth, Mase closed the gap to 6-5 on a strong move from the center position. The team would fight hard for the next five minutes but with only one minute left to play Italy scored their final goal and the game would end 7-5 for Italy.
Head coach Nishant Damani had the following comments after the game - “To finish Worlds with a loss is disappointing. The team came out flat today, on defense in particular, which has been our strength throughout the tournament. It has been fantastic to see the progression over the last two years from these young athletes. They won some big games here this week and even took the eventual silver medalists to over time. We look forward to big things from them in the future.”
Team Canada returns home on Sunday landing at Trudeau Airport in Montreal at 11:15PM. In other action today, Russia won gold, the Netherlands Silver, USA bronze and Hungary fourth.
Please log on to www.waterpolo.ca to follow all the results of the Junior Women’s National Team.