PHOTO: 2015 Pan American Games in Toronto. By Yan Huckendubler.
The latest International Hockey Federation (FIH) World Rankings were released Tuesday and the Canadian Women’s National Team rose one spot from 19th to 18th in the world.
The new rankings – for both men and women – were released after the conclusion of the Hockey Champions Trophy tournament.
Canada’s women did not participate in the tournament, but were competing in Japan over the last week in a four-game series with the 10th ranked and Olympic-bound Japanese.
Despite going winless in the four-game series, the Canadians are pleased with their performance against the higher ranked side from Japan.
“Overall, a very satisfying tour,” says Women’s National Team head coach Ian Rutledge. “To see the team string four very solid performances together; we made major head ways into our game and had all of our team systems assessed thoroughly by a very good and experienced Japanese team.”
The Japanese series did not have a direct impact on the world ranking, but the Canadian women will feel the rise is well deserved, after three grueling competitions against higher ranked nations to start the year.
In each of the three competitions – a test series with the U.S., the 2016 Hawke’s Bay Cup in New Zealand, and the test series against Japan – Canada’s women held their own and proved that they are truly are progressing.
Canada’s men – who are preparing to compete in the 12-team tournament at the 2016 Olympic Games in Brazil this summer – fell from 14th to 15th in the men’s world rankings after South Africa jumped up to take the 14th spot.
The Men’s National Team will have a chance to rise again in the rankings at the Olympic Games, where world ranking points will be awarded. South Africa will not be able to do so as it will not be participating in the games.