CALGARY, Alta. – Hockey Canada announced Wednesday the 17 players who will be a part of Canada’s National Sledge Team at the 2015 IPC Sledge Hockey World Championship, taking place April 26-May 3 in Buffalo, N.Y.
Canada’s roster includes two goaltenders, five defencemen and 10 forwards. Twelve of the 17 players (Arsenault, Bowden, Bridges, Dixon, Dorion, Gemmell, Larocque, McGregor, Rempel, Watson, Westlake and Whitson) helped Canada win a gold medal at the 2013 IPC Sledge Hockey World Championship in Goyang, South Korea.
Head coach Ken Babey also announced that Greg Westlake (Oakville, Ont.) will serve as captain of Canada’s National Sledge Team at the world championship, joined by alternate captains Brad Bowden (Orton, Ont.) and Tyler McGregor (Forest, Ont.).
Westlake has worn the ‘C’ for Team Canada at the last two IPC Sledge Hockey World Championships, in addition to the 2014 Paralympic Winter Games.
“This is a team with a tremendous amount of experience in big-game situations, and one that is excited to defend its world title,” said Babey. “Sledge hockey just keeps getting bigger in Canada, and having this year’s world championship so close to the Canadian border should be another tremendous showcase for the sport in our country.”
Canada’s roster also includes:
- · 13 players who helped Canada’s National Sledge Team win a bronze medal at the 2014 Paralympic Winter Games (Arsenault, Bowden, Bridges, Delaney, Dixon, Dorion, Gemmell, Larocque, McGregor, Rempel, Watson, Westlake and Whitson)
- · four players who will make their debuts at the IPC Sledge Hockey World Championship (Cederstrand, Delaney, Sholomicki and Sorley)
Canada opens the world championship on Sunday against Japan, and will also face Norway on April 27 and the Czech Republic on April 29 in preliminary round play. The semifinals are set for May 1, and the bronze medal game and gold medal game will be played May 3.
In seven appearances at the IPC Sledge Hockey World Championship, Canada has won three gold medals (2000, 2008, 2013) and three bronze medals (1996, 2009, 2012), finishing fourth in 2004.