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France edges Canada in tight contest


The Canadian Men’s National Team will play for seventh place at the Olympic Qualification Tournament in Rotterdam in the Netherlands following a loss to France on Saturday. The French were confident ahead of the game after losing to Greece in a shootout in the quarterfinals. The Canadians had good moments in their quarterfinal match against Russia and were hoping to get back on the winning track against France. Both teams battled hard in this match, but France came out ahead with an 11-9 victory.

France took the lead very early in the game, but Jérémie Côté’s brace enabled Canada to jump in front 2-1 with four minutes to go. The French had the last word of that first quarter, replying with a pair of goals to reclaim a one-goal lead.

France doubled the gap early in the second period on a Mehdi Marzouki goal. The good defensive work from Canada bore fruit a few moments later when Nicolas Constantin-Bicari brought his team within one on a counterattack. Sean Spooner later scored his ninth goal of the tournament to tie the game at four before halftime.

The French came back in front to start the third period, but Canada replied on a Gaelan Patterson goal. France was opportunistic scoring the next three goals, taking an 8-5 lead. Côté added his third and fourth goals of the game to bring Canada within one, but France scored in the last moment of the third quarter to set up a two-goal lead.

Down 10-7 with just over five minutes to go in the final quarter, Canada was looking for a spark to achieve a comeback. Nicolas Constantin-Bicari led the charge with his second and third goals of the game to make it a one-goal game with a little more than three minutes to play. Canada tried everything to tie the game, but a penalty to France closed the books on this one with a final goal and the 11-9 victory.

Canada will conclude its participation in the tournament against Georgia for seventh place on Sunday, February 21 at 10 a.m. (local) / 4 a.m. (ET). Thatgame will be streaming live on CBCSports.ca  and CBC Sports app.

FRA 11-9 CAN (3-2, 1-2, 5-3, 2-2)

Milan Radenovic, Gaelan Patterson (1), Bogdan Djerkovic, Nicolas Constantin-Bicari (3), Mark Spooner, George Torakis, Jérémie Côté (4), Sean Spooner (1), Aleksa Gardijan, Aria Soleimanipak, Max Schapowal, Reuel D’Souza, Samuel Reiher.



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