TURIN, Italy – Liam Hickey (St. John’s, N.L.) and Kevin Sorley (Petersburg, Ont.) scored two goals apiece, leading Canada’s National Sledge Team to a 4-0 win over Korea in the opening game for both Monday at the 2017 International Para Hockey Tournament.
The Canadians are the defending champions, having gone unbeaten to win gold in Turin in December 2015.
Dominic Larocque (Quebec City, Que.) was perfect in the Canadian goal, turning aside all eight shots he faced to record his sixth shutout in 15 career appearances, and improve his record to 9-1.
Sorley got the scoring started towards the end of the first period, taking advantage of a Canadian power play and finishing a set-up from Bryan Sholomicki (Winnipeg, Man.) to put Canada up 1-0 after one.
Hickey doubled the lead just past the 10-minute mark of the second period, and made it 3-0 less than four minutes into the third with Canada on another power play.
Sorley capped the scoring with 16 seconds to go; he doubled his career goal total in the game, having scored two goals in his first 24 games with the national team.
Canada was perfect on the power play, and kept the Koreans goalless on their three chances.
The Canadians return to the ice at the Palaghiaccio Tazzoli on Tuesday, facing off against the host Italians (4 a.m. ET/1 a.m. PT), before closing out the preliminary round Wednesday against Norway (9 a.m. ET/6 a.m. PT).
Ken Babey, head coach:
“We started a little bit slow, but the boys battled through and Korea played us very physical; it was a hard game at the start. The guys came through in the end, stuck to the plan, and now we move on tomorrow to what we think will be a better game against Italy.”
Liam Hickey on his two goals and the overall team performance:
“I think it was good to put the guys on the scoreboard. I’ve been working on my shooting so it was good to pay off in the game, and it keeps the [team’s] energy up too. Moving into the next game, we have a lot to improve on. I think we can still up our communication, making sure we’re energized the entire game and disciplined; we need to be smart and not take any unnecessary penalties.”
Dominic Larocque on his shutout in helping the team:
“I think I played well [with big saves] on the breakaway and the two-on-one. It was good for me to get more experience for future games.”