Budapest 2017 – Canada finishes in 4th place after falling to Russia in bronze medal match
Water Polo Canada – (Budapest, Hungary, July 28 2017) – In another hard-fought battle, the Canadian women’s team fell to the Russians and had to settle for 4th place at the 2017 FINA World Championships in Budapest, Hungary. Both teams knew heading into the match that it would be a close one, as Canada beat Russia by only one goal in the semi-final at World League Super Final earlier this year. This time, Russia came out on top, earning an 11-9 win over the Canadians.
Canada came out strong in the first quarter, taking an early lead. Joelle Bekhazi scored the first goal for Canada just to see Hayley McKelvey netting the second one on a Russian exclusion. The Russian squad scored its first of the night just 30 seconds later to cut the lead in half. The Russians would add one more to tie the game. Monika Eggens converted a penalty shot for Canada to take the lead 3-2. Russia would however answered back before the end of the quarter (3-3).
Russia took the advantage in the opening minutes of the second quarter, taking a 4-3 lead over the Canadians. Emma Wright would tie the score just moments later with a beautiful skip shot. Russia scored twice to take a two goal lead. Eggens put one in for Canada on the power play (5-6). Both teams then exchanged possession just to see Russia regain a two goal lead on the buzzer (5-7).
In the third quarter, Russia extended its lead to four goals (5-9), before Canada answered back with under two minutes to play. Wright scored one on the extra-man just before completing her hat trick on a penalty shot to put the score at 7-9.
In the opening minutes of the fourth quarter, Eggens capitalized on the extra-man advantage for Canada to put her team within one goal (8-9). Despite a couple of chances, Canada wasn’t able to find the equalizer. At the other end, Russia found the back of the net to regain a two goal lead. With less than a minute left, Russia would score one to confirm the win (8-11). In the last moments of the game, Monika Eggens converted a penalty shot for her 20th goal of the tournament putting her equal at top with Italy’s Roberta Bianconi. Russia had secured the 11-9 win to win the bronze medal.
“I think it was a great tournament for our team. The girls played amazing and I am very proud of them. Even if the last result was disappointing for us, 4th place is a very good achievement. After our 2nd place at the World League Super Final, we played an excellent tournament against the best teams in the world. I would like to thank all the staff members for their support and of course all my players for an unforgettable season” said Haris Pavlidis, Head Coach of the Women’s National Team.
With this 4th place, Canada finishes a great year of international competitions. The Canadian women’s team had previously won a silver medal at the World League Super Final in June. At the 2017 FINA World Championships, this Canadian squad certainly showcased its talent and will be looking forward the future.
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