Field Hockey Canada > Canada's hockey success at the 2023 Pan American Games

Canadian hockey teams advance to next stage of Olympic qualification

After a successful and exciting Pan American Games, The Canadian Men’s and Women’s National Teams return from Santiago having earned a chance to qualify for the Olympic Games. Argentina claimed the automatic bid from Pan Ams in both divisions, but with a top four and bronze finish respectively, Canada’s women’s and men’s national team have advanced to the next stage of Olympic qualification.

Men’s National Team: Rising Stars Shine Bright

The Canadian men’s national field hockey team showcased their high potential at the 2023 Pan American Games. The team put on an impressive performance, securing a win record of 4-1 throughout the tournament. They notched victories against Brazil, USA, and Trinidad & Tobago before narrowly losing to the host nation, Chile, in a thrilling semi-final shootout. In a bronze medal match against the United States, the Canadian team delivered an excellent performance, emerging victorious and claiming the third spot on the podium. The standout performances of captain Gordon Johnston, young goalkeeper Ethan McTavish, and young talents like Sam Cabral, Fin Boothroyd, Sean Davis and Brendan Guraliuk made the tournament even more exciting. Entering the tournament with an average experience across the team of less than 100 caps, the team did well to achieve a podium finish. With the emerging talent of the young bucks coming into the team, it bodes well for the future of the Red Caribou.

With this podium finish, the men’s team has secured their ticket to the next stage of Olympic qualification, to be held in Oman in January 2024. There they will compete in an eight-team event, with the top three teams advancing to the Paris 2024 Olympic Games. The future looks bright for Canadian men’s field hockey, and their journey is just beginning.

Women’s National Team: A Promising New Era

The Canadian Women’s National Team went to the PAG with an average international experience of only 62 caps and demonstrated tremendous game on game learning under the Olympic Gold medal winning leadership of Danny Kerry and Kate Richardson-Walsh. The group-stage journey was marked by victories over Cuba and Mexico, along with a narrow loss to Chile. Despite falling short in the semifinals against eventual gold medalists, Argentina, and subsequently in the bronze medal match against Chile, the tournament was an invaluable experience for the staff and team. The performance against Argentina was perhaps a highlight of the improvements made by the Wolfpack, improving on last year’s World Cup result in a tight encounter.

The squad’s standout performances included goalkeeper Rowan Harris and the young stars Audrey Sawers, Mel Scholz, Chloe Walton, and teenager Kenzie Girgis. Captain Natalie Sourisseau led the charge on the attack, while stalwart defenders Karli Johansen and Sara McManus held the fort at the back.

With many players participating in their first Pan Am Games, this tournament provided a vital building block for the Women’s National Team and demonstrated their ability to compete with top teams on the international stage.

Finishing in the top four means that Team Canada will compete in an Olympic qualifier event in Spain in January. This event in Valencia will feature eight teams, with the top three earning a coveted spot in the Paris Olympics. The journey to continues for the Canadian women’s field hockey team.

A Promising Future for Canadian Field Hockey

In the three-year cycle between the Toyko Olympics (which were delayed until 2021 due to the pandemic) to Paris 2024, FHC has focused on a re-structure of high performance, to build an aligned staff and national team programs which benefit from working closely together. New coaching staff, fresh faces and extended squads, and a strong desire for growth marks the work going on. This is about more than just results; it was a platform to build new strategies and systems and to continue the work on culture under tournament stresses, which was reflected in this year’s Pan American Games

Both teams showcased their potential and resilience in a high-stakes international competition. As they look ahead to the Olympic qualifiers in January, Canada’s field hockey teams are set to make their mark on the world stage.

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