GANGNEUNG, South Korea – Adam Dixon (Midland, Ont.) scored twice and added seven assists – including his 200th career point – to propel Canada’s National Sledge Team to a dominant 17-0 win over Sweden on Friday at the 2017 IPC World Para Hockey Championship.
The Canadians tied their own record for goals in a game at the world championship – they beat Japan by an identical 17-0 score to open the 2015 tournament.
Billy Bridges (Summerside, P.E.I.), Tyler McGregor (Forest, Ont.) and Liam Hickey (St. John’s, N.L.) each had a hat trick for Canada, which got points from 11 of its 13 skaters; Bridges finished with seven points, while McGregor, Hickey and Tyrone Henry (Ottawa, Ont.) chipped in with five apiece.
Hickey got the scoring started just 80 seconds after the puck dropped, burying a feed from Bridges and opening the floodgates early.
Bridges made it 2-0 on the power play at 2:58, Dominic Cozzolino (Mississauga, Ont.) converted on a 2-on-0 with McGregor nine seconds after that, Bryan Sholomicki (Winnipeg, Man.) added a fourth goal at 5:10, and Bridges got his second at 5:45, going bar down with his left hand.
Dixon added a goal to the three assists he had already recorded, banking his shot in off a Swedish defender, and got his fifth point of the period on a Ben Delaney (Ottawa, Ont.) shorthanded goal at 12:29.
By the time McGregor capped a busy first period with 1:13 to go, Canada had scored eight times on 14 shots in the opening frame.
McGregor, Hickey and Sholomicki all added their second goals in the first nine minutes of the second period, before Bridges powered a shot through Swedish netminder Ulf Nilsson to finish his hat trick and make it 12-0 at 10:54.
Dixon earned the primary assist on that goal, joining Bridges, Greg Westlake (Oakville, Ont.) and Brad Bowden (Orton, Ont.) as the only players to reach the 200-point mark with Canada’s National Sledge Team.
Bridges’ third goal also spelled the end for Nilsson, who was replaced shortly after by Andreas Neuman after allowing 12 goals on 30 shots in 28 minutes of work.
Canada kept its foot on the gas in the third period; McGregor and Hickey scored their hat-trick goals two minutes apart, and Dixon added his second before Bowden and Henry put their names on the scoresheet in the final four minutes.
Dominic Larocque (Quebec City, Que.) earned his second shutout in as many starts, needing to make just three saves. Canada outshot Sweden 52-3, and has allowed just eight shots through three games.
The Canadians will have less than 24 hours off before returning to the ice against the Koreans on Friday night (10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT), looking to keep their perfect record intact.
“We played a solid game from start to finish. Our leaders showed the way by staying with the game plan after we had a big lead. It was great to see our young players gain experience and play so well.”
– Ken Babey (Saskatoon, Sask.), head coach of Canada’s National Sledge Team
“It was a pretty good game for us as a team. Nobody got away from our game plan – we all stuck to the system, no one got selfish, which can happen in a high-scoring game like that.”
– Dixon – who earned his 200th career point – on the positives he takes away from the game
“As [today’s] game progressed, it was about continuing to stick to our structure, continuing to do everything right. We have several big games coming up throughout the rest of the week, and we don’t want to lose sight of what we’re here for. [It’s a] quick turnaround before our game against Korea, but we’re going to enjoy this for an hour or so and then immediately shift our focus to tomorrow.”
– McGregor on using every game as a building block to achieving the team’s ultimate goal