Women's hockey Olympic qualifier: Canada take fifth place

Women's hockey Olympic qualifier: Canada take fifth place

Canada beat Poland 3-0 to grab fifth position leaving their opponents without a single win in the women's hockey Olympic qualifier at the Major Dhyan Chand Stadium here Saturday.

Poland, the lowest-ranked team in the competition, finished the round-robin with five straight losses, while Canada, originally ranked fourth, struggled and could only collect points from a draw against Italy on the opening day and a win against Poland, their opponent of the day.

Canada were controlling play, carrying the ball up-field swiftly, but were short on ideas once in the Polish circle. After fifteen minutes of play, Kate Thompson penetrated the circle on the left and found Thea Culley in front of the goal, she turned and slotted the ball in the corner to open the scoring.

Canada had a penalty-corner shortly after but Sara McManus' powerful shot was stopped by Marta Kucharska in the Polish goal.

Poland came back well and Kaitlyn Williams in the Canadian goal did well to keep them out, but Canada maintained their overall domination of play. They could, however, not score again and went into the half-time break with a meagre one-goal lead.

The Canadians resumed their domination in the second period and immediately looked dangerous. Brienne Stairs first hit the post but was on hand a few minutes later to deflect in a goal from a shot by Culley. Canada scored again in the 45th minute from a penalty-corner.

Despite their comfortable three-goal lead, Canada maintained the pressure and there were some close shaves in the Polish circle, but no more goals. Poland had a late surge and were unlucky to hit the crossbar from a penalty-corner, then denied by Williams on a series of shots from close range.