TURIN, ITALY – Canada’s Sledge Hockey Team captured Canada’s first ever gold medal in sledge hockey on Saturday at the Paralympic Winter Games in Turin, Italy. Canada shut out the defending World Champions from Norway 3-0 to earn Paralympic gold.
Canada came out strong in the first, carrying the play to Norway and getting some early chances. At 2:52 of the opening period, Bradley Bowden (Orton, ON) took a Billy Bridges (Oakville, ON) feed and beat Norwegian goaltender Roger Johansen to open the scoring. Canada added to its lead in the final moments of the second period, as Bowden set up Greg Westlake (Oakville, ON) for a goal, giving Canada a 2-0 lead. The third period belonged to Canada’s goaltender Paul Rosen (Thornhill, ON) who was at his best while Norway was outshooting Canada 10-2. Bridges ended any chance of a comeback with an empty-net goal, and Canada had a 3-0 victory.
Sledge hockey is the Paralympic version of hockey and, since its debut on the Paralympic program at the 1994 Lillehammer Paralympic Winter Games, it is quickly becoming one of the biggest attracti ons for spectators at the Paralympic Winter Games. It is fast-paced, highly physical and played by male athletes with a physical disability in the lower part of the body.
CANADA’S SLEDGE HOCKEY TEAM RETURN ITINERARY
The Canadian Paralympic Committee will coordinate media interviews in Montreal. There will be no formal media conferences in Ottawa, Toronto or Calgary, however players and staff will be available to media for interviews upon their arrival.
ALL ARRIVALS ARE ON Tuesday, March 21st unless otherwise noted
Montreal, QC Air France 346 17:45 (ET) All team members
Ottawa, ON Greyhound Bus 21:15 (ET)
Marc Dorion, Raymond Grassi, Jean Labonté,
Catherine St. Terminal Hervé Lord, Shawn Matheson, Graeme Murray,
Mark Gallant (Asst. coach)
Shaunna Taylor (Sport psychologist)
Toronto, ON Air Canada 431 23:15 (ET)
Players Jeremy Booker, Bradley Bowden, Billy Bridges,
Mark Noot, Paul Rosen, Greg Westlake
Jeff Snyder (Head Coach)
Shawn Frydberg (Asst. coach)
Jim McLeod (Equipment Manager)
Calgary, AB Air Canada 141 March 22nd
1:05 (MT) (Manager, Sledge Hockey Operations)
MEDIA INTERVIEW REQUESTS: André Brin, Hockey Canada’s Manager, Communications, is with the team during the Paralympics to coordinate media relations through March 19th. He can be reached by e-mail, at HYPERLINK "mailto:email@example.com" firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 011 39 335 872 2565. Please take note of the time difference between Italy and your region as you make your interview requests. Interview requests made on March 20th should be directed to Canada’s Assistant Press Chief Guy Napert-Frenette at 011 335 872 2163 as André Brin will be traveling that day.
Since Canada’s arrival on the international sledge hockey scene, the National Men’s Sledge Hockey Team has captured gold in four major international events (the 19 World Cups, the 1999 Commemorative Games and the 2000 World Championship). In the nine major events held in Sledge Hockey over the past 15 years, Canada has won a medal in all but two.
Sledge Hockey has been part of the Paralympic Winter Games since 1994. Canada won a bronze medal in 1994, a silver medal in 1998, and finished 4th in 2002.