Field Hockey Canada > Canada finishes top eight at Indoor Hockey World Cup

Canada finishes top eight at Indoor Hockey World Cup

February 10, 2023 | Field Hockey Canada |

Last seeded Team Canada upsets their way into quarterfinals

Entering the tournament, Canada was the 16th and final seed of the Indoor Hockey World Cup. After finishing pool play with three draws, a loss and a victory, Canada upset their way into the quarterfinals, finishing inside the top eight; Canada’s highest ever finish at an Indoor World Cup.

Canada plays in group stage at the FIH Indoor Hockey World Cup in South Africa. Photos/FIH

Canada opened the tournament with a surprise draw versus Ukraine, the world number three. The draw, which featured a penalty corner goal from captain Alison Lee, put the group on notice that Canada was not a roll-over game, far from it. Canada then found their scoring rhythm, much thanks to Kitchener, Ontario’s Sam McCrory, who netted five goals in the tournament.

Canada backed up their opening round draw by tying Namibia and then defeating the eventual group winners, Czech Republic. The win over the Czech’s was a signature performance from Canada, including Rowan Harris, the stalwart goalkeeper from Ottawa. Canada had an opportunity with the lead in the fourth quarter in their next group match against Kazakhstan but succumbed a late goal and finished with another draw.


Dropping their final pool-play match to Belgium would ultimately prove costly, as Canada finished fourth in their pool setting up a quarterfinal crossover against tournament powerhouse, Netherlands. The Dutch were simply too strong and controlled the game start to finish. Despite a gritty defensive performance, Canada couldn’t withstand the offensive assault led by Donja Zwinkels and Lieke van Wijk, who both scored a hattrick.

Head Coach Shankar Premakanthan exclaimed his pride in Canada’s effort and grit all tournament long including their eventual loss to the Dutch in the quarterfinals.

“I’m extremely proud of the girls’ effort, work, and grit. We battled back and continued to press and fight. It sums up our tournament,” he said.

McCrory led the team in scoring with five goals followed by Elise Wong with three and Alison Lee with a pair. During the tournament, Natalie Winter, Deepi Gill, Katie Lynes, Prava Sandhu and Abrie Girgis all played their first official international cap. The balance of veteran and youth players ensures that this Indoor Women’s National Team is in good hands moving forward. Premakanthan said this group has set the standard for Canadian indoor hockey and expects the team to only grow from here.

“I’m incredibly proud of the progress this group has made from when we started back in October to our last game here at the world cup,” he said. “I really think teams around the world will respect Canadian indoor hockey and that we can use this to build moving forward and set this as the standard.”

Samantha McCrory nets a hattrick vs Kazakhstan