Men – Canada vs. Trinidad & Tobago: 2-0 (1-0)
Canada opened their triple confrontation with Chile and Trinidad & Tobago, in Vancouver, with a hard fought win over a Trinidadian team that is always a tough opponent, with talented young players and the experienced stewardship of the ever green Kwan BROWNE.
The game was played at an unrelenting pace from the start, with action flowing back and forth and opportunities at both ends. Canada enjoyed more ball possession but Trinidad was holding strong in defense and dashing forward in sudden pushes that sometimes put the Canadian defenders in hot waters.
Canada was finally rewarded of their domination in the 29th minute, when Iain SMYTHE was well positioned to slot the ball in goal after a penalty-corner.
Trinidad & Tobago started the second period at full speed and pushed the Canadian defense on their heels, calling Canadian goal-keeper David CARTER into action. They had two narrow misses, and forced two successive penalty-corners, but to no avail.
Canada slowly regained control of play and created some impressive counter-attacks by Philip WRIGHT, Mark PEARSON, Iain SMYTHE and Gabbar SINGH, but could not beat Karlos STEPHEN in the Trinidadian goal. Scott TUPPER had a strong attempt on a penalty-corner, well saved by the Trinidadian goal-keeper, but it was finally Mark PEARSON who secured the precious second goal on a decisive push that confused the defenders.
With rain starting to fall, the pace abated somewhat and the score did not evolve more, despite a late series of penalty-corners where Canada tried various options.
Canada had a strong start to their summer preparation towards the Pan American Games. It is interesting to note that they were lining-up 4 players returning from successful European campaigns: Mark PEARSON and Scott TUPPER, German Champions, Phil WRIGHT, French Champion, and Ken PEREIRA, European Champion. Rob SHORT, also European Champion and EHL (European Hockey League) MVP was rested today.
Canada: Philip WRIGHT, Scott TUPPER, Gordon JOHNSTON, Jesse WATSON, Richard HILDRETH, Ken PEREIRA, Mark PEARSON, Keegan PEREIRA, Gabbar SINGH, Adam FROESE, David CARTER (GK)
Substitutes: David JAMESON, Connor MEAKIN, Iain SMYTHE, Hudson STEWART
DNP: Rob SHORT, Devonhn TEXEIRA, Antoni KINDLER