Sept. 14, 2016 – Rio de Janeiro, Brazil – Despite bringing their best game to their respective quarterfinals today, the Rio tournament ended for both Canada’s men’s and women’s goalball teams following close losses this evening.
The men went in as underdogs against an undefeated Lithuanian team and played brilliantly, holding the score to 4-3 for the U.S. With less than a minute to go, Canada’s Blair Nesbitt, a Paralympic rookie, evened the game to send it in to sudden death overtime - and Canada’s hopes were alive.
However it was Lithuania who scored in the second overtime period, earning the win and moving on to the semifinals. Canada’s other goals were scored by Doug Ripley with two and Bruno Haché with one.
“I’m just speechless,” said Nesbitt. “This is my first Paralympics and I haven’t been playing that long. I’ve only been playing for four years. Just an amazing feeling, I wouldn’t have thought I would be here and then to tie it up and even to make it in double overtime. We played the best game of the tournament for us.”
The Canadian woman played a solid game against a more experienced U.S. team, but were shut out 2-0.
“That was emotional,” said Amy Burke. “We really thought we could beat them. We play them a lot provincially with our club team so we know each other pretty well. Everyone gave it their all.
“You could feel the positivity from the bench and from everyone on the floor. So I’m definitely proud of the group we brought. It’s unfortunate we’re not playing it tomorrow but we gave it our all.”
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Goalball media attaché
Rio cell: +55 (21) 99033-0131