A fatal mistake in the sudden death of penalty shootout by John McKee cost Ireland a place in the 2020 Olympic Games. Ireland not only lost the second match 1-3 but also the shootout 4-5 to bow out of the race for the ensuing summer Olympic Games.
Sitting pretty with a 5-3 victory in the first match, all Ireland needed was a draw to make it to the 2020 Too Olympics. But it was not to be. The home crowd was all ruptures as Adam Foesee scored the tie clinching goal from the penalty shootout.
A 5-3 victory in the first game meant that Ireland started today's second match with a two goal aggregate advantage, a lead that was quickly extended when John McKee put the Green Machine 1-0 up in the sixth minute. Canada's Olympic dream appeared to be fading, but goals either side of half time from Gordon Johnston and Oliver Scolfield put the hosts within one goal of levelling the aggregate score. Ireland kept the home team at bay until the final second of the fourth quarter when a penalty stroke was awarded, with Canadian captain Scott Tupper showing the calmest of heads to fire into the bottom right corner to tie the aggregate score at 6-6, triggering a shoot-out for the Olympic ticket.
Misses from Canadian pair Sukhi Panesar and Keegan Pereira helped Ireland to establish a 3-1 lead before Michael Robson and Shane O'Donoghue failed to convert, leaving the shoot-out score locked at 3-3 going into sudden death. A mistake from Ireland's John McKee gave Adam Froese the opportunity to seal victory and he made no mistake, finding the target to send Canada to the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020.
At the end of the first weekend of the Olympic Qualifiers, the following teams have booked their berths in the 2020 Olympic Hockey event:
Women: China, Australia and Spain
Men: Spain, the Netherlands and Canada