Dominic Larocque (Quebec City, Que.) turned away 13 of 15 shots he faced, but Canada’s National Para Hockey Team fell 2-0 to the United States on Saturday night to close out their two-game series.
Larocque was excellent between the pipes for Canada, turning away a number of point blank chances from the Americans, first to keep the game tied, and then kept it close after the U.S. took the lead to give his team a chance to come back.
Goaltending was the story of the game for both sides through two periods, as neither side could break through despite a number of point blank chances, and went into the second intermission knotted at 0-0.
The United States were the more dominant team in the first 15 minutes, outshooting Canada 7-2 in the opening frame. Canada turned up the pressure in the middle stanza, finishing the period with a 6-2 advantage on the shot clock.
The Americans broke the deadlock with a goal early in the third with the only goal they would need in the contest with an unassisted goal from Travis Dodson
Jack Wallace put the game away for the United States with the 2-0 tally late in the third.
Canada pulled the goalie after going down two, but couldn’t solve American netminder Steve Cash, who turned away all 10 shots he faced in the contest.
“I think the biggest takeaway for us was using this as another building process for our team. I think there were some improvements in areas that was really nice to see, so moving forward we’re going to focus on what we need to accomplish. We have a really hard-working group of guys, and now we have to go back to our home training stations and make sure that we’re better than ever when we get back together”
– Liam Hickey (St. John’s, N.L.) on takeaways from the game
“It’s amazing. I don’t have any words for how special it is to me to look up and see so many friends and family out to support the team. The crowd was big, it was loud, and having the support like that really makes a difference to us on the ice, so it was great to see the amount of support there was.”
– Corbyn Smith (Monkton, Ont.) on playing in front of a sold-out crowd
“Dom (Larocque) gave us a great game. We have to play a full game against the Americans, and we had a bit of a slow start, but through the game we improved and that’s what we want to see. Most importantly, we saw a lot of growth in our young players – they played a lot more than they are used to, but they stepped up and kept us right in it.”
– Head coach Ken Babey (Calgary, Alta.) on playing against their rivals