Canada 1 - Norway 4
CANADA SUFFERS FIRST DEFEAT; ADVANCES TO PLAY GERMANY IN SEMI-FINAL
Canada and Norway, both undefeated, faced off on Tuesday night at Torino Esposizioni, in front of a packed house for first place in Group A. Earlier in the day, Germany secured first place in Group B, with a 0-0 tie against Japan, while USA claimed second place with a 6-1 victory over Sweden.
Canada started the game with two consecutive power plays, after their tenacious forecheck led to two Norwegian penalties. Canada controlled the puck well but Norway kept the play to the outside. Canada’s best scoring chance came shortly after the second power play, as Dany Verner jumped on a loose puck and found the post behind Norwegian netminder Roger Johansen.
It was Norway however who scored the first goal of the game at 5:40, as Eskil Hagen took a pass in front, and slid the puck past Paul Rosen. This marked the first time that Canada allowed a goal at the Paralympics, after two consecutive shutouts to open up the tournament.
Canada got into penalty trouble shortly after, and fell behind 2-0 while playing three on five. Norwegian star player Rolf Pedersen left the point and one-timed a quick shot past Rosen’s glove hand.
Canada believed it had scored in the opening minute of the second period, but the referee ruled that the whistle went before the puck crossed the line. The play went to video review but the referee’s ruling stood.
Despite being outshot, Norway was taking advantage of its opportunities. The defending World Champions took a 3-0 lead on a power play, at 2:59, as Tommy Rovelstad came in from the point and put a loose puck past Rosen.
At 8:25, Canada got on the board. Mark Noot held the puck in at the blue line and found Shawn Matheson in the slot. Matheson’s quick shot was tipped in by veteran Hervé Lord.
Canada had some chances to make it closer, but couldn’t beat Johansen. Norway finally restored its three-goal advantage on a power play at 8:47, as Rovelstad scored his second, from the high slot, with traffic bothering Rosen in front. Canada headed to the dressing room down by three goals.
Canada outshot Norway 6-2 in the third (and 16-12 in the game) but was unable to solve Johansen. Norway gets first place in Group A, on the strength of a 4-1 win over Canada.
Canada will now face the surprise of the sledge hockey competition, Germany in the semi-finals on Thursday, March 16th, with the game starting at 20:30 (local time)/14:30 (ET). Norway and USA will face off in the other semi-final.
For more information:
Adam Crockatt Manager, National Men's Teams | Responsable, équipe nationale masculine (hockey sur luge)