CANADA BLANKS GERMANY, MOVES INTO FINAL AT SLEDGE WORLDS
JASON LA ROSE
GANGNEUNG, South Korea – Tyler McGregor (Forest, Ont.) had a natural hat trick to get the offence rolling, and Canada’s National Sledge Team finished the preliminary round with a 9-0 win over Germany on Wednesday at the 2017 IPC World Para Hockey Championship.
The victory sends Canada to the gold medal game for the third time in a row at worlds; it will face off against the United States in the final on Thursday (6 a.m. ET/3 a.m. PT).
Dominic Cozzolino (Mississauga, Ont.) and Corbyn Smith (Monkton, Ont.) added two goals apiece for the Canadians, while Adam Dixon (Midland, Ont.) and Bryan Sholomicki (Winnipeg, Man.) had one each.
Canada came out firing, racking up 10 shots in the first six minutes, but red-hot German goaltender Klaus Brzoska kept the game scoreless until McGregor roofed a shot on the power play at 6:10.
He added a second on another man advantage just over two minutes later, dangling his way to the net before rocketing a shot past Brzoska, and finished his hat trick six minutes into the second period thanks to a cheeky no-look feed from Greg Westlake (Oakville, Ont.).
Cozzolino got his name on the scoresheet late in the second period, burying the rebound of a Liam Hickey (St. John’s, N.L.) shot on the power play, and Dixon made it 5-0 in the last minute of the middle frame, showing off his quick hands in tight.
With the game well in hand after 30 minutes – they outshot Germany 33-2 through two periods – the Canadians added four more goals in the third.
Cozzolino potted his second just 35 seconds into the final stanza, tucking his shot around Brzoska, before Smith sandwiched his two goals around one from Sholomicki in the final four minutes.
He got his first by knocking in his own rebound at the 11-minute mark, and after Sholomicki added a fourth power-play goal Smith beat Brzoska at the buzzer to finish the festivities.
In all, Canada finished with a one-sided 45-2 advantage in shots on goal, and scored four times in five chances on the power play.
Dominic Larocque (Quebec City, Que.) earned his third shutout in four starts in the Canadian goal, turning away both German shots; in his four appearances, Canada allowed just 14 shots on goal.