The Vantage Black Sticks Men suffered a 3-2 loss to Canada in the deciding game of the BDO Hockey Series this afternoon at Lloyd Elsmore Park in Pakuranga, Auckland.
The first quarter was full of opportunities for New Zealand with two penalty corners and multiple shots on goal. In the seventh minute of play Dominic Newman found the back of the net for his second goal of the series to give the Vantage Black Sticks a 1-0 lead.
The second quarter saw a couple of shots for both teams but neither were successful, sending the Vantage Black Sticks men into the sheds with a 1-0 lead at the half.
Canada got out to a quick start at the beginning of the third quarter with a shot from Brenden Bissett finding the back of the net to tie the game, 1-1.
New Zealand earned a penalty corner early on in the fourth quarter which ended in Cory Bennett firing a shot into the top corner of the goal to regain the lead for the Vantage Black Sticks (2-1).
Canada responded to the goal in the 55th minute of the game after Oliver Scholfield got past the Vantage Black Sticks defense to tie the game for the second time (2-2). Canada hadn’t finished though. Soon after Scholfield’s goal, Canada found themselves with a penalty corner. After some shuffling in front of the goal, Gordon Johnston converted the penalty corner in the 57th minute of play to give Canada the lead for the first time in the game (3-2).
As the clock dwindled down, the Vantage Black Sticks pulled the keeper to make more opportunities but time wasn’t on their side. The game ended with Canada taking the 3-2 win and securing the BDO Hockey Series victory.
“We actually started pretty well and I thought we had a fair run,” said Head Coach Darren Smith. “Canada they hung in their and scored to equalize. Then again I thought we had a really good passage to take the lead 2-1. We were slack through the period where they took a 2-2 and a 3-2 lead. It’s a disappointing way to end but we just have to take what comes to us.”
“The European guys come home this week so that will be good and we’ll look forward to having those guys back into the training environment. Whenever you get a chance to play it’s a good opportunity to try and polish things up. There was a fair amount of untidy things that we did and other things that were pretty good. We just need to have a look and see where we can do better.”
Next up for the Vantage Black Sticks is the 2018 Odisha Men’s Hockey World Cup in Bhubaneswar, India beginning at the end of November with their first game on November 29th against France. The world cup team will be announced on November 1st.
VANTAGE BLACK STICKS: 2 (Dominic Newman 1, Cory Bennett 1)
CANADA: 3 (Brenden Bissett 1, Oliver Scholfield 1, Gordon Johnston 1)
HALFTIME: Vantage Black Sticks 1, Canada 0
via NZ Hockey