Canada suffered its first loss Sunday at the Winter Universiade in Italy, losing 4-2 to Kazakhstan to conclude preliminary play.
Both teams had already qualified for Wednesdayâs quarter-finals.
âKazakhstan was very good tonight,â assistant coach Forbes MacPherson said on Twitter after the game. âWe played hard and had our chances. . . Tough loss! Either way we have to win Wednesday.â
The Canadian squad is comprised of players and coaches from the Atlantic University Sport (AUS) conference. It includes UPEI Panthers goalie Wayne Savage, forward Chris DeSousa, defencemen Alex Wall and Matt Maione. MacPherson, the Panthers head coach, is an assistant to UNB coach Gardiner MacDougall of Bedeque.
Special teams played a key role in Sundayâs contest as Kazakhstan scored twice on eight power plays and added a short-handed marker, while Canada was 0-for-4 with the man advantage.
âWeâve had two outstanding games and tonight we faced a really good opponent,â MacDougall said. âWe have to use the adversity as a stepping stone to get to another level of the tournament.â
Canada led 1-0 after the first but trailed 3-1 going to the third.
Savage made 22 stops in the loss. Tyler Carroll and Simon Lacroix scored for Canada with assists to Chris Culligan, Cory Tanaka and Rob Slaney.
Canada defeated Japan 12-1 and Ukraine 11-0 to open the round robin.
The semifinals are Friday and the medal games Saturday morning.