CANADA FLEXES OFFENSIVE MUSCLE, GETS FIRST WORLDS WIN
JASON LA ROSE
OSTRAVA, Czech Republic – Tyler McGregor (Forest, Ont.) scored three goals and set up three others, leading Canada’s National Para Hockey Team to a 14-2 win over Norway on Sunday at the 2019 IPC World Para Hockey Championship.
Billy Bridges (Summerside, P.E.I.) had a hat trick and two assists, and Liam Hickey (St. John’s, N.L.) added two goals and three helpers for the Canadians, who got goals from eight different players and points from 12 of 13 skaters in their biggest offensive output since beating Sweden 17-0 in their Paralympic opener last March.
The goals came early and often in the first period, with Antoine Lehoux (Thetford Mines, Que.) tipping in a shot from Corbyn Smith (Monkton, Ont.) to get the party started just 2:57 in.
Greg Westlake (Oakville, Ont.) cleaned up a loose puck in front to make it 2-0 and Bridges deposited a rebound for his first before Dominic Cozzolino (Mississauga, Ont.), Lehoux and McGregor scored in a span of 97 seconds late in the opening frame for a 6-0 advantage after 15 minutes.
Hickey netted his two goals 23 seconds apart early in the second period, and Bridges rocketed a shot just under the cross-bar for his second at 6:17 to make it a 9-0 game.
Ola Oiseth finally got the Norwegians on the board midway through the middle frame, going to the far side to beat Canadian goaltender Corbin Watson, but another Canadian outburst finished the period.
Rod Crane (Clarksburg, Ont.) got his first international goal and point to get Canada into double-digits, tapping in a perfect set-up from Rob Armstrong (Erin, Ont.), and McGregor scored his second and third goals around Bridges’ hat-trick marker to make it 13-2 after two periods.
Audun Bakke added a second Norwegian goal in the first minute of the third period, getting a shot through traffic and past Watson, who finished with six saves.
Canada took its foot off the gas a little in the final stanza, managing just three shots on goal, but Zach Lavin (Okotoks, Alta.) made the last of those count to finish the scoring with 2:22 to go.
Final shots on goal favoured Canada, 25-8.
The Canadians wrap up the preliminary round Tuesday against South Korea (7 a.m. ET/4 a.m. PT).