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Water Polo Canada – (March 26, 2019 – Perth, Australia) – The Canadian teams were facing a significant challenge on the first day of competition at the 2019 FINA World League Inter-Continental Cup in Perth, Australia. The Canadian men came up short 8-9 in a close battle against Australia while the Canadian women fell the Aussies 9-13 in the last match of the day.

CANADA 8 – 9 AUSTRALIA (4-0, 1-3, 0-3, 3-3)

Dusan Aleksic (GK), Gaelan Patterson, Sean Spooner (2), Nicolas Constantin-Bicari (4), Jérémie Côté, Jérémie Blanchard, Bogdan Djerkovic, David Lapins, Aleksa Gardijan, Aria Soleimani, Devon Thumwood, Reuel D’Souza (2), Milan Radenovic.

The Canadian men’s team had an impressive start; Sean Spooner scored twice in the opening minutes of the match while Canada’s Captain, Nicolas Constantin-Bicari, added two more goals to take a 4-0 lead in the first quarter. Australia seemed to adjust in the second quarter, scoring three goals to come within two (5-3) at half time.

The Australian offence continued to push in the third quarter, adding three goals to take the lead for the first time of the game (5-6). With just one goal separating the two squads, the fourth quarter promised to be an exciting one.

The final quarter didn’t disappoint as players from both teams battled hard to get the win. The Aussies extended their lead to 5-7 early in the fourth period. Canada’s answer came from Reuel D’Souza who beat the goalkeeper with a beautiful skip shot from the side. Australia capitalized on the next power play, but Constantin-Bicari kept his team in the game with a powerful shot from outside. Both teams exchanged goals in the final moments of the quarter with the Canadians still trailing by one goal (8-9). With just 10 seconds on the clock, Canada’s head coach, Pino Porzio, called a time out to prepare the final attempt to get the equalizer. Unfortunately, the Australian squad stopped the last effort and recorded the 9-8 win.

The Canadian men will face South Africa tomorrow at 9:30 am local time / 9:30 pm ET (March 26). Live stream is available FINA TV (subscription required).

CANADA 9 – 13 AUSTRALIA (2-4, 1-4, 2-1, 3-4)

Jessica Gaudreault (GK), Krystina Alogbo, Axelle Crevier, Gurpreet Sohi, Monika Eggens (1), Kelly McKee (1), Joelle Bekhazi, Elyse Lemay-Lavoie (1), Hayley McKelvey (5), Amanda Amorosa, Kindred Paul, Shae Fournier (1), Claire Wright.

The Canadian women’s team faced a determined Australian squad in the last match of the day. After a close first quarter between the two nations, the Aussies capitalized on their opportunities in the second quarter to take an 8-3 lead at halftime.

The Canadian women converted a power play opportunity halfway through the third quarter to put the score at 4-8. Australia managed to regain a five-goal lead on the next possession, but Kelly McKee and Hayley McKelvey both scored to keep the red and white in the game (6-9).

Canada and Australia exchanged goals at the beginning of the fourth quarter; Elyse Lemay-Lavoie won her battle in front of the net while Hayley McKelvey scored her fourth of the night. The BC native, McKelvey, added one more goal to her total on a converted penalty shot to bring Canada within two goals (9-11) with a less than three minutes to play. The Australians stayed compose and added two more goals to confirm the 13-9 win.

Canada will play Kazakhstan tomorrow at 5:00 pm local time / 5:00 am EST. Live stream is available FINA TV (subscription required).

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Mylène Turcotte-Fitzgerald
Water Polo Canada Communications
613-748-5682 x 325