Turin, Italy – Canada’s National Sledge Team will come home with another gold medal from the 2017 International Para Hockey Tournament in Turin, Italy after defeating Norway 8-1 in Saturday’s gold-medal game.
“I thought our boys played really well all week and our best game was our last game today,” said head coach Ken Babey. “This week was really good, we grew a lot as a team, we saw our young players step up their game and some of our veterans help the young guys succeed” Babey added.
“We got off to a really good start with the early goal, that built a lot of momentum for our team and we just continued to build from there,” said Ben Delaney (Ottawa).
Canada opened the scoring just 30 seconds into the game on a goal from Tyler McGregor (Forest, Ont.) before Norway tied it less than two minutes later. Canada erupted for three more goals in the final four minutes of the first period on goals from McGregor and Adam Dixon (Midland, Ont.) to hold a 4-1 lead. Greg Westlake (Oakville, Ont.) added two more in the second giving Canada a 6-1 lead. Dominic Cozzolino (Mississauga, Ont.) added to Canada’s lead in the third before McGregor scored his hat trick goal and fifth point of the game (tied with Dixon) to seal the win. Dominic Larocque (Quebec City, Que.) earned his third win in goal for the tournament.
Full game stats and story can be found here.
Canada surrendered only one goal through the preliminary round, to finish with a perfect 3-0 record as they outshot their opponents 16-1 in defeating South Korea 4-0, Italy 3-0 and Norway 9-1. In Friday’s semi-final, Canada posted its third tournament shutout with a 4-0 win over the host Italians.
The Turin tournament was Canada’s final international test competition, they now turn their attention to the IPC World Para Hockey Championship April 11-20, 2017 in Gangneung, South Korea.
“This was the most important part in coming here [to Turin] was having the opportunity to run our systems, build our chemistry and get some young guys involved was very important for our team,” said McGregor. “Putting guys in situations they haven’t necessarily been in will be important for us moving into Worlds.”
In eight appearances at the IPC World Para Ice Hockey Championship (formerly IPC Sledge Hockey World Championship), Canada has won three gold medals (2013, 2008, 2000), one silver (2015) and three bronze medals (2012, 2009, 1996), finishing fourth in 2004.