ACTION-PACKED SCORELESS DRAW VAULTS CANADA INTO THIRD PLACE IN POOL B
Despite being lower seeded in tonight’s game against Scotland, the field was tilted in Canada’s favour from the get go. The intense 0-0 draw finish leaves Canada in third place in their pool and needing a win against New Zealand in order to advance to the medal rounds.
The first half was littered with chances as Natalie Sourisseau and Steph Norlander peppered the Scottish circle. With the absence of the injured Rachel Donohoe, the onus fell on Brienne Stairs, Kate Wright and Hannah Haughn to add to Canada’s attack. In the first half alone, Canada earned five chances on net and two penalty corners but had nothing to show for it.
The steadfast defensive core of Sara McManus, Karli Johansen and Dani Hennig have asserted themselves among the toughest to play against in the tournament. Hennig, who is two-games shy of 150, brings a sense of experience and focus on the back-end. And with Kaitlyn Williams between the pipes, Canada’s defense has looked stellar in both games.
Canada surged in the third quarter, earning several circle entries and two penalty corner attempts. Still, neither team would allow a goal. Stairs emerged in the second half, ranging from end-to-end, carrying the ball with confidence. Despite the two penalty corner chances in the second half for Canada, neither team could break the stalemate.
With six minutes remaining, Scotland appeared to have cashed in on a quick counter attack as they played the ball into the circle and fired it into the net. Canada referred the tackle and the call was reversed. It was a crucial turning point in the game. The closing minutes of the game featured an all-out Canadian attack as Stairs, Norlander and Haughn traded chances on net. Canada leaned into the Scottish defense but was turned away each time.
Canada now faces the world number-4 New Zealand on Sunday in what has essentially become a must-win if Canada is to advance to the medal rounds. Fans can catch the action at www.dazn.com.