Hockey: Black Sticks women ease past Canada

Charlotte Harrison scored another double for the Black Sticks. Photo / Getty
Charlotte Harrison scored another double for the Black Sticks. Photo / Getty

The Black Sticks Women have defeated Canada 5-1 in the second test at the Gallagher Hockey Centre in Hamilton this afternoon.

New Zealand were in control throughout the game against a valiant Canada side which put together some good phases of play against the home side.

Striker Charlotte Harrison scored her second successive brace while Kayla Whitelock, Gemma Flynn and Jordan Grant added to the tally.

The win follows yesterday's 6-0 victory, and continues their dominance against the 19th-ranked Canadian side.

Head coach Mark Hager said there were some positives and negatives to take away from the game, but it was a pleasing way to head into the Hawke's Bay Cup which starts this weekend.

"We went through the motions at times today and were a little bit lacklustre, but it's always good to score five goals and come away with a win," he said.

"Canada played well and created a lot of chances so that was another good test for us in the lead up to Rio later in the year.

"We will now go away, reassess and prepare for our first game at the Hawke's Bay Cup against India on Saturday."

It was a fast start from the Black Sticks who created plenty of early pressure on attack, with Harrison opening the scoring in the 10th minute through a powerful forehand shot.

The hosts extended their lead three minutes later when Whitelock snuck the ball past the feet of Canadian goalkeeper Rowan Harris.

Canada responded early in the second quarter and pulled one goal back thanks to a cracking shot from the stick of Thea Culley.

Just out from halftime New Zealand pushed the advantage further following a brilliant solo run along the baseline and finish from Flynn.

The Black Sticks continued their dominance coming out of the break with another goal from the restart when Kirsten Pearce found Grant in front of goal for a slick finish.

Harrison brought up her double from a penalty corner in the 39th minute when Whitelock found her on the post for a deflection into the net.

The Black Sticks now travel to Hastings for the Hawke's Bay Cup from 2-10 April, which is important preparation for the Champions Trophy in London (June) and Rio Olympic Games in August.

New Zealand (world ranking 4th) finished runners up at last year's Hawke's Bay Cup and this time will battle it out against Australia (3rd), China (5th), Korea (9th), Japan (10th), India (13th), Ireland (15th) and Canada (19th).

Black Sticks 5 (Charlotte Harrison 2, Kayla Whitelock, Gemma Flynn, Jordan Grant)
Canada 1 (Thea Culley)
Halftime: Black Sticks 3-1

- NZ Herald

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