Thea Culley of Rossland led the Team Canada women’s field hockey team to a decisive win in their opening match at the Pan Am Games Wednesday.
Culley scored twice in a 10-0 victory while teammate Brienne Stairs of Kitchener netted a hat trick. Canada dominated the match taking a 6-0 lead in the first half.
Culley has been a member of the national team since 2006 and has played in over 60 international matches. Winning gold at the Pan Am Games would guarantee the team a spot in the 2012 London Olympics.
However, their next match will prove much tougher as they play number-one ranked Argentina on Friday.
In baseball action, Canada held on in the late innings to eke out a 5-4 victory over Puerto Rico. Going into the eighth inning, Canada held a comfortable 5-1 lead on the strength of starting pitcher Shawn Hill’s performance.
Canada gave up one in the eighth but still held a 5-2 lead going into the bottom of the ninth before Puerto Rico scored a run and had the bases loaded with two outs. After hitting a batter to make the score 5-4, closer Dustin Molleken induced a ground ball to first base for the final out.
“We got the win,” said Canadian Manager, Ernie Whitt. “We got into a little funk at the end but our guys battled and we came out on top.”
Canada’s next game is against Cuba today at 7 p.m. Central Time.
The Canadians dropped their semi-final game to the eventual World Cup silver medalist by a score of 8-2.