Canada in search of WC berth at Pan Am Cup
The Canadian senior women’s and men’s national teams are currently in Santiago, Chile set to begin their campaigns to qualify for the 2022 World Cups held in Spain and the Netherlands. The Pan American Cup, Jan. 19-30 is the continental qualifier where the Top 3 teams for the women and Top 2 teams for the men will advance to the World Cup. All games will be streamed live at a cost at www.cdomas.cl or www.canalcdo.cl
The Canadian Women’s National Team last qualified for the Hockey World Cup in 1994, when the event was played in Dublin, Ireland. In their last Pan American Cup performance, in 2017, Team Canada finished 4th. They will need to up that finish by at least one spot to secure a World Cup bid. With a top three finish, Canada will succeed in its qualification goal, and after winning a silver medal at the 2019 Pan American Games in Lima, this team expects to be back in the title match competing for that gold.
The team is fresh off a successful November training tour that saw them defeat Pan Am rival USA in a five-game series, outscoring their neighbours to the south 9-2 in the process. The tour was great for developing team chemistry and Wong said it was key in building confidence heading into the major games.
The women’s team will feature Vancouver Island’s Kathleen Leahy, Maddie Secco, Anna Mollenhauer and Sara Goodman. Victoria’s Lexi De Armond was named to the reserve squad.
The personnel-makeup of the team will look a little different than years past, notably missing Kate Wright, Dani Hennig, Holly Stewart and goalkeeper Kaitlyn Williams. Former captain and long-time leader of the team, Wright, announced her retirement late last year. More on the women’s tournament: https://fieldhockey.ca/event/2022-pan-american-cup-women/
With two bids on the line for the 2023 Hockey World Cup, the Red Caribou must make the finals to secure their spot.
Since the adoption of the Pan American Cup in 2000, Canada’s Men’s Team has yet to finish worse than second. But historical records don’t guarantee anything, and the team is taking nothing for granted, with perennial favourite Argentina in attendance and USA, Mexico, and Chile lurking. Every team will be going all out for the coveted World Cup bids.
Canada is coming off a second-place finish at the 2019 Lima Pan American Games and 12th place at the 2020 Olympic Games.
The bulk of the Canadian squad has been training in the domestic environment, in Vancouver, working with coaching staff in preparation for the Pan American Cup.
The men’s team features Victoria’s James Kirkpatrick and Harbir Sidhu, as well as former UVic Vikes players Keegan Pereira , Brenden Bissett and Matthew Sarmento. Notably, the team will be without long time leaders Scott Tupper and Mark Pearson, both announcing their retirements late last year. Despite losing some critical leadership pieces, the team remains largely unchanged, returning 14 players from their extended Olympic roster. More on the men’s tournament: https://fieldhockey.ca/event/2022-pan-american-cup-men/