GANGNEUNG, South Korea – Liam Hickey (St. John’s, N.L.) scored a hat trick and added two assists to lead Canada’s National Sledge Team to a 9-0 win over Korea in the middle game of their three-game para hockey series Tuesday.
The Canadians clinched a series win after a 3-1 victory in the opening game Sunday.
Dominic Cozzolino (Mississauga, Ont.) added two goals and an assist in the win, while Billy Bridges (Summerside, P.E.I.) and Greg Westlake (Oakville, Ont.) had a goal and two helpers each.
Corbin Watson (Kingsville, Ont.) recorded his second shutout in a row in the Canadian goal.
The offence was rolling early, with three goals before the 10-minute mark of the first period. Cozzolino and Hickey set up Bridges at 4:32, Bryan Sholomicki (Winnipeg, Man.) doubled the lead at 8:56 and Hickey got his first 19 seconds after that to put the Canadians in control early.
Cozzolino netted his two goals early in the second period before another pair of quick-strike markers – Westlake and Hickey, 1:27 apart – pushed the advantage to 7-0 through two periods.
Adam Dixon (Midland, Ont.) got in on the action with less than five minutes to go off a set-up from Hickey before Hickey finished his hat trick 40 seconds later to complete the scoring.
The teams finish the series – part of Paralympic preparations – with a Thursday morning game in Korea; the puck drops in Canada at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT on Wednesday night.
“We played a good game. We had a high pace and our puck-management was very good. Our timing and execution was much better than last game; a solid team effort.”
– Head coach Ken Babey (Saskatoon, Sask.)
“We all came out a lot better than we did the last game and that’s what we wanted to focus on. I think we played a full game; every period we came out strong and finished strong. That’s what we wanted to do, so we’re happy”
– Liam Hickey, 5 points (3G, 2A) in the win
“Felt pretty awesome to be out there and I love wearing the Canadian jersey. It was also good to see all the systems [the] coaches work on come into play. I think the final game will be pretty similar to today; we have a few things to tighten up, but I think we’ll keep using the systems the coaches are working on.”
– Zach Lavin (Okotoks, Alta.) on his international debut with the national team
“With our team, we get better every time we get on the ice and that was evident again today. The first period we started off slow, but once we got moving as a unit, we kind of took over.”
– Dominic Cozzolino, Team Canada forward, 2 goals, 1 assist in the win