Buenos Aires, Argentina – The Canadian Men’s Field Hockey Team is one win away from qualifying for the 2016 Olympic Summer Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil after a sudden death shootout win over the seventh ranked New Zealand Blacksticks at the 2015 World League Semifinals Thursday in Argentina.
After no goals were scored by either team in regulation time, the fifteenth ranked Canadians were led to victory by their 33 year-old goaltender, David Carter, who stood tall late in the game, particularly in the shootout, which went fourteen rounds before Canada emerged an 8-7 winner.
After the initial five-man shootout, which also ended tied, Carter made four straight saves to keep Canada alive, before making a final save to set up Adam Froese for a chance to win it for Canada.
In the end, Carter’s stellar goaltending combined with timely Canadian goals led to the win and sends Canada to the tournament semifinal against their Pan Am rival Argentina.
“I was just trying to stay composed,” Carter explained following the exhilarating shootout. “The guys work so hard and you just want to make every save for them. And If I let one in they pick me up.”
“It’s a great team effort and I’m happy for all eighteen guys.”
Canada’s match against Argentina, which takes place Saturday at 2pm PT/5pm ET, has big implications as the top three finishers at this tournament earn a spot in the 2016 Olympic Games.
With a win and the guaranteed top two finish, it would be the first time Canada’s Men’s National Team qualified for the Olympics since Beijing in 2008, having missed out on qualification in 2012.
If the win doesn’t come in Saturday’s semifinal, Canada can also qualify for Rio by winning the 3rd place match, scheduled to be played on Sunday.
Photo caption: David Carter and Adam Froese celebrate after Canada’s shootout win over New Zealand.