Feature Photo: Oscar Muñoz Badilla
The Canadian men followed yesterday’s thrilling Pan American Cup opener with a definitive victory of their own. A hat trick from Gordon Johnston and a flurry of goals later, the Red Caribou came out on top 11-1 in their first matchup against Mexico earlier this afternoon.
Eleven minutes in, Floris van Son put Canada on the scoresheet with a quick side shot into the Mexican net. It wasn’t until the second quarter that Canada found its stride and notched four goals in the span of nine minutes. It was a game of well-taken penalty corners, strong offensive play and hard-kept possession, all positive signs after the post-Olympic down period.
It’s the first time since July 2021 that the team is back in competition together — this time with a World Cup berth on the line. Fin Boothroyd, who scored two goals today, said that the Pan American Cup is the perfect setting to prove their worth.
“It’s nice to get back into training and competition because it’s been a while since we’ve played meaningful, important games with real consequences and the opportunity to qualify [for the World Cup],” he said. “We have some new faces so we’re getting the new base mixed in and familiar with who we want to be when we represent Canada.”
Canada defeats Mexico in opening-round action from Santiago, Chile. They play USA on Saturday. Photos/Oscar Muñoz Badilla
Leading 5-0 at halftime, Canada was able to capitalize on two more penalty corners in the third quarter and a penalty stroke in the fourth, adding six more goals to their tally. While Mexico retaliated with only minutes to go, goalkeeper Zack Coombs stood strong in just his second senior appearance.
Next, the Red Caribou face Pan American rivals, USA, on Saturday at 4:15pm local time (2:15pm EST). The last time the two met was during a two-game series in December, where Canada won one match and tied in the other. According to Boothroyd, this game not only has implications on pool standings, but will test the team in more ways than one.
“The rivalry goes through all the sports we play in Canada,” said Boothroyd. “Some games are really fun and some games leave a little bit of a bad taste in our mouths, and I think [USA] feels the same way. In terms of tournament ramifications, it’s pretty important for us to get a result and finish with more wins.
“We’re building a foundation for future games to come and today was nice in getting the confidence up in order to get that ticket to the World Cup.”
Follow all matches on Field Hockey Canada’s social media accounts and stream the matches live at https://www.cdomas.cl/home.
Our national teams are able to compete at the 2022 Pan American Cup thanks to the generous support from our sponsors. Thank you to our apparel partner, Indian Maharadja, our equipment supplier, Gryphon Hockey, and our club partners, West Vancouver FHC and Tamanawis Field Hockey Society, for supporting the Red Caribou and Wolf Pack!
For more information on how you can sponsor or partner with us, please visit this link.
To support our teams and donate to their journeys, click here.