PHOTO: Karli Johansen battles a Korean player in Canada’s 2-1 win on April 2, 2016 at the Hawke’s Bay Cup.
Both the Canadian senior and junior Women’s National Teams played their final games of their respective tournaments this weekend, wrapping up a busy two weeks for Canada’s women.
The senior team finished the Hawke’s Bay Cup with a 3-1 loss to Korea in the 7th place match on Sunday morning in New Zealand, while the junior team dropped a 3-0 decision to Chile in the bronze medal match of the Junior Women’s Pan American Championships on Saturday morning in Trinidad and Tobago.
With the loss to Korea, Canada’s senior women finish in 8th place the Hawke’s Bay Cup, which is where they were ranked among the the teams competing in the tournament (according to the International Hockey Federation’s world ranking points).
Canada’s goal came from Brienne Stairs in the 26th minute of the first half, during which Canada was in control of the match and created many opportunity offensively, while not giving up much defensively.
Korea came back with an equally impressive second half, scoring three goals, before Canada – desperate to tie – pushed back, albeit unsuccessfully.
The Canadian women, however, impressed throughout the course of the tournament, opening with a come from behind win against the Koreans, who are ranked 9th in the world. They were competitive in all their matches and particularly so against Korea, and China and Japan, both of whom are also in the top ten in the world rankings.
The 19th ranked Canadian women were “playing well and improving every day” during the tournament according to head coach Ian Rutledge. He added that the experience “will serve our confidence and development well into the future.”
In Trinidad and Tobago, the Canadian junior women were hoping for better than a 4th place finish at the Junior Women’s Pan American Championships, as the the top two finishers (which ended up being Argentina and the United States) earned a spot at the 2016 Junior Women’s World Cup of Hockey.
But despite falling short of qualification, the junior Canadians have much to be proud of.
Canadian Lauren Logush was given the honour of being named Goalkeeper of the Tournament as she backstopped the women to impressive wins, one in a shootout in the quarterfinal against Uruguay.
A group of Canadian juniors will now return to Vancouver to train with the senior National Team, an experience which will undoubtedly go a long way for the development of the Women’s National Program on the whole.