April 27, 2014, CALGARY (ISN) – Two-time Paralympian Brendan Gaulin of Vancouver scored the winning goal in a shootout to lead B.C., to a 2-1 victory over Nova Scotia in Sunday’s men’s final at the Canadian Goalball Championships.
Goalball is a team sport at the Summer Paralympics for visually impaired athletes. Each team fields three players on the court and the objective of the game is to throw the ball into the opponent’s goal while the opposing players try to block the throws.
Tactile markings help players determine their location on the court and the 1.25 kilogram goalball contains noise bells.
B.C., and Nova Scotia played to a 1-1 draw through 24 minutes of regulation (two 12-minute halves) and two three-minute overtime sessions. There was still no victor through one round of shootouts (called going to throws in goalball parlance) before Gaulin fired the winner.
“It was a different kind of final,” said Canadian national men’s team coach Danny Snow of Calgary, who has coached the sport for 32 years. “The players relied more on bounced shots rather than hard shots. But with it going into overtime and throws it made for an exciting game.”
Doug Ripley of New Westminster, also on the 2012 Paralympic squad that placed 10th, gave B.C., a 1-0 lead in the first half before Peter Parsons of Halifax tied it for Nova Scotia in the second.
Quebec defeated Alberta 9-3 for the bronze.
In the women’s final, Whitney Bogart and Cassandra Orgeles, both of Ottawa, scored five goals apiece as Ontario beat B.C., 12-3 in the women’s final. Ashlie Andrews of Penticton replied twice for B.C. Quebec defeated Alberta 7-5 for the bronze. Bogart, Orgeles and Andrews were all on the women’s national team that placed fifth at the 2012 Parlaympics.
“We were very impressed with the level of competition, the depth of field and the athletic excellence at this event,” said Robert Fenton, president of the Canadian Blind Sports Association. “We would like to thank the Alberta Sports and Recreation for the Blind and all the volunteers for making this possible.”
Peter Wettlaufer, the president of Alberta Sports and Recreation for the Blind, was also pleased.
“The tournament was a big success,” he said. “We had a record number of men’s teams and the women’s game continues to be consistent. This is the ninth time we hosted the event and once again our volunteers made it work like a well-oiled machine.”