August 2, 2009
Playing for a third place finish in the 3 Nations Series, Canada lost 4-1 against Australia A. Their lone goal came at the 58th minute. With the team already down 3-0, Mark Pearson took a tough pass at the top of the opposition’s D and drove the ball inside, forcing a foot-foul. On the ensuing penalty corner, Wayne Fernandes shot the ball straight in scoring his second goal of the tournament.
Although game play was quite even, Australia proved to be more opportunistic as Jason Wilson scored the team’s first and last goals off a penalty corner and a stroke, respectively. Canada, on the other hand, played a great game in the red zone, creating numerous offensive chances, but unfortunately they all seemed to die without a finish. The other two Australia goals came from the field, both from Glenn Turner, and none of the four goals could be blamed on Canadian goalkeeper Matt Peck who played yet another solid game.
For the third straight game, Mark Pearson was an offensive force with which to be reckoned, providing pressure and determination and inspiring his teammates to do likewise. Another notable performance came from young left defenseman Mark Erickson, who was tasked with marking Glenn Turner, Australia A’s leading goalscorer. Although Turner scored twice, Erickson played a strong game highlighted by a brilliant goal line save on a penalty corner in the 29th minute.
With three test matches remaining on the Australia Tour, Canada has much to take from the four tournament round losses. As the nucleus of Canada’s World Cup entry comes together with just over six months remaining, there are some aspects of the game that can simply not be taught in practice situations. Head Coach Alan Brahmst has been developing skills on dispossession and minimizing counter attacks, and there is no better way to learn than by playing the world’s elite.
The three test matches remaining on the tour come on Tuesday, against Australia A once again, followed by two matches on Thursday and Friday against the tournament champions, the Kookaburras, who won the final 1-0 in an impressive defensive and goaltending effort by Malaysia.