Both Canada and Japan entered the game in search of their first win. Japan proved to be the better team on the night, gaining momentum throughout the contest as they improved their execution on both sides of the ball. Canada once again had difficulty converting on its scoring chances and began to fade as the game got out of reach in the final quarter.

Canada and Japan were evenly matched in the opening frame, with Japan holding on to a slim 13-9 lead after 10 minutes of play. Hiroaki Kozai kick-started the Japanese offence in the second frame, which outpaced the Canadian side en route to a 35-24 edge at halftime. Canada stuck with Japan for three quarters, before Japan turned the tide in the final quarter.

Canada’s co-captain David Eng said, “We have to be able to look ahead to the future and there are a lot of lessons yet to be learned, especially for the rookies that we have. They need to cherish this experience so that in four years when Tokyo 2020 comes around, all of those lessons will have been learned. We’ve got to keep our heads high. If we don’t we won’t see the lessons to be learned in the next two games.”

“We’ve been on top of the world for so long. All of the teams that we’re facing, they have that extra motivation to come out hot against us. They know we’re in a rebuilding phase, and they’re just taking advantage of it after all of the hardships that we’ve given them throughout the last decade.”