Grey, leaden skies greeted the third match of five and was the one that would decide whether Canada took the series or Scotland would bounce back from their two defeats, so far, and take the match count to 2-1.
Scotland got off to a good start playing at a quick tempo and taking the game to Canada from the off.
However, once Canada took possession, they countered quickly and took an early lead through a powerful strike from Brienne Stairs that, despite Lucy Camlin getting a glove to it, deflected down and bobbled into the net for 1-0 after three minutes.
The goal only spurred Scotland on and they very nearly responded instantly, a good run by Charlotte Watson into the D from the right saw her diving shot stopped, but Sarah Jamieson followed up and nearly squeezed the ball home at the far post. As the half progressed the Scots were playing some inspired hockey.
Good build-up and linking play saw them looking really dangerous in the final third, but Canada’s defence were up to the task and they failed to convert. Scotland then got a deserved equaliser through a penalty corner routine that saw Bex Condie pick out Fiona Semple left of the uprights.
She deflected the ball of the floor and into the roof of the net for the equaliser. So, with just a couple of minutes left in the quarter, it was 1-1.
Canada’s response was instant and they retook the lead right on the break when Stairs bagged her double with a shot that squeezed past the keeper and bounced into the net for 2-1.
The opening minutes of the second quarter were fairly even with both sides breaking, but failing to come up with any further goals.
But, as half time drew close, Canada scored a well-worked penalty corner routine to go 3-1 ahead. The ball was shifted across to Shanlee Johnston who picked out the far corner of the net for 3-1. A tough one for Scotland who had played a good half of hockey.
Canada had an early chance in the second half when Stairs was through on Camlin, but a fine save by the Scots’ keeper was cleared by Condie and the side could breath a sigh of relief.
Scotland continued to play with a good tempo and enjoyed solid possession. They came close to a goal at a penalty corner after a quick exchange in the D saw Jen Eadie strike at goal, but it was well blocked and the danger cleared.
As in the previous games, Canada seemed to turn up the wick a touch in the final quarter and sustained pressure almost saw the fourth goal when Karli Johansen rattled the post with a penalty corner for Canada a few minutes in.
Then confusion reigned. What appeared to be an illegal block on a goal-bound shot from a penalty corner routine was, initially, awarded as a penalty stroke which Nikki Alexander-Lloyd lined up.
Then the umpires had a quick meeting and rescinded the stroke and awarded a penalty corner.
During the attacking play in the D from the corner, one of the Scottish player was flattened off the ball and, this time, the penalty flick decision was not up for debate and Alexander-Lloyd could have her attempt.
Unfortunately – or, fortunately, if you were supporting Canada – the keeper chose the correct side and Alexander-Lloyd saw her stroke saved.
With nine minutes remaining, Scotland took off their keeper and played with 11 outfield players in an attempt to pull a goal back. However, it was about a minute or two later that Canada scored their fourth.
Stephanie Norlander fired the ball across in front of the sticks and, the ‘Stopped-on-the-line Hero’ from Thursday’s match, Kerry-Anne Hastings, was there again. This time, however, she was unable to save again, and the ball spun off her stick and dribbled into the net for 4-1.
Jessica Buchanan, back on in goal, managed to prevent Canada from going further ahead with a couple of fine stops, but despite an excellent, late surge by McKenzie Bell and Lexi Sabatelli almost setting up Louise Campbell for a goal, the Canadians managed to clear, and took the victory 4-1 to win the series with two matches still to play.
Images from the match will appear here over the next few days