Captain Ken Pereira leads Canada to bronze medal

Captain Ken Pereira leads Canada to bronze medal

Canada edged past Poland 4-3 in a pulsating encounter to secure the bronze medal in the men's hockey Olympic Qualification tournament, here today.

The third-fourth place classification match between Canada and Poland turned out to be a lively contest as both the teams came out with attacking hockey in a bid to outsmart each other.

But in the end the 14th ranked Canadians managed to hold on to their slim one goal lead to break Poland's heart.

Canada took the lead as early as in the fourth minute through captain Ken Pereira, but Poland equalised four minutes later when Arthur Mikula scored a field goal.

The Canadians once again surged ahead in the 27th from Rob Short's field goal, but their joy was short-lived as the 19th ranked Polish drew parity in the next minute through Szymon Oszyjczyk to go into the breather locked at 2-2.

The Canadians maintained their stronghold in the match after the change of ends and scored two more goals – Matt Guest (41st) and Pereira in a span of 10 minutes to make the scoreline 4-2 in their favour.

The Canadians could have scored another just 10 minutes from the hooter when they were awarded a penalty stroke, but Scott Tupper was denied by a brilliant Polish goalkeeper Arkadiusz Matuszak.  Poland, however, managed to reduce the margin eight minutes from time through Bartosz Zywiczka, but it was not to be their day as they the failed to score the equaliser even after creating numerous chances in the dying moments of the match.

Meanwhile, Italy spanked minnows Singapore 5-0 in a classification match to finish fifth in the tournament.

In spite of the scoreline, it took Italy 28 minutes to surge ahead against the inexperienced Singaporeans when Daniele Malta deflected home a penalty corner.

Andrea Corsi added another for Italy from a close range just two minutes from the break to take a comfortable lead 2-0 at the half-time.

After the resumption of play, Agustin Nunez scored a fantastic goal in the 42nd Ignacio Salas scored two more goals – first a field goal and then from a penalty corner – to end the tournament on a winning note for the Italians.