Canada’s final pool-play matchup was against the host country, England. With a win, England would secure their spot in the semifinals. Canada was fighting for a higher finishing position in their pool.
England cracked the 0-0 deadlock in the first two minutes with a Phil Roper field goal. Canada righted the ship immediately and played even hockey with the English side. Canada built up some attack and earned a 11th minute penalty corner, which Brendan Guraliuk converted on.
At the end of the first half, with England leading 4-1, tempers flared as players came together in a pushing and shoving match. Two English yellow cards and a Canadian red card was handed out. As a result of the altercation, Canada started the second half a man up and controlled the play, earning a penalty corner in the process. England kept calm under pressure and returned the favour when they gained their carded players back.
From the 3-minute mark of the third quarter, England had the personnel advantage and they applied heavy pressure. Tristain Burgoyne was a bright spot in the Canadian net as he continued to make big saves under heavy assault. Between strokes, corners and field attempts, England had over 40 attempts on net. Burgoyne made some fabulous saves in the second half, to keep Canada alive.
England did not let up and continued to drive circle entries resulting in penalty corners. Canada defended the penalty corners well. Despite strong running from Canada’s defensive unit and quality goaltending, the onslaught was too much and England earned three third quarter goals.
England spent the fourth quarter making a final push to get enough goals to overtake India at the top of the pool, so the attack continued. After successfully scoring three more goals, Canada took advantage of an empty net and Guraliuk scored his second of the game to put the ‘goal target’ out of reach for the English side.
The small defeat didn’t deter England as they advance to the semifinals. Canada finishes fourth in their pool and will take on one of Pakistan, New Zealand or South Africa as this evening’s action will determine the final placement of Pool A.
Canada will play Saturday August 6, early (615am ET | 3:15am PT). All matches are streamed on CBC Gem.