August 2, 2010
By: Yan Huckendubler
Canada won handsomely the first game of their series against the Chilean women 3-0, which was designated as their Annual Game for the CURE.
Canada were prompt to jump off the starting blocks and were all over their opponents in the initial minutes. They were rewarded by an early goal by Thea CULLEY diving to deflect in goal a hard free hit into the circle. They maintained their initial pressure, preventing Chile from clearing their defensive zone. Thea CULLEY was again on-hand in the 8th minute to pounce on a loose ball in the circle to push the score to 2-0.
This second goal somewhat woke-up the Chilean women and they besieged the Canadian goal for a while, earning two penalty-corners that were well defended by Canada. The game then settled down for a while, with both teams producing entertaining end-to-end hockey, but with no good scoring chance at either end.
Overall, Canada dominated the first period. They carried on this domination in second period and Diana ROEMER increased their tally to 3 goals on penalty-corner in the 45th minute, triggering another Chilean reaction. The Canadian defense was under intense pressure for a while, but held tight, successfully defending 2 penalty-corners.
Azelia LIU was kept busy in the Canadian goal, surviving unscathed a series of hot scrambles in the circle. Canada finished the game with only ten players after a yellow card to Crystal POLAND, but regrouped well and showed promising collective strength to maintain their 3-0 lead until the final whistle.
Coach Louis Mendonca was happy with the performance of his team. “We finished our opportunity today, which is obviously important to win games. We also tried some new things to counter their press and they were well executed. Chile is a very well coached team; it is useful to play against their changing tactics during the match. We have still a very young defense unit. They struggled at the end of the game, but are starting to gain valuable experience and to trust their skills”.
Canada: Kate Gillis, Ali Lee, Stephanie Jameson, Crystal Poland, Thea Culley, Stephanie Nesbitt, Katie Baker, Abigail Raye, Diana Roemer, Robyn Pendleton, Tyla Flexman, Samatha Smith, Kristine Wishart, Shannon Elmitt, Anna
Kozniuk, Azelia Liu (GK)
4mn CAN Thea CULLEY (FG)
8mn CAN Thea CULLEY (FG)
45mn CAN Diane ROEMER (PC)
Click Here for Canada-Chile Test Series event page.