Game Summary
Canada 10 - Sweden 1
 

WESTLAKE LEADS THE WAY FOR CANADIAN SLEDGE HOCKEY TEAM AT PARALYMPICS

VANCOUVER – Scoring was the last thing on Greg Westlake's mind as the Canadian sledge hockey player dumped the puck into the opposing zone, his team down two skaters after back-to-back penalties.

But the way the Vancouver Paralympics have been going for the Oakville, Ont., native even that 3-on-5 dump-in couldn't help but find its way into the back of the net.

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Westlake scored three goals and added two assists as Canada pounded Sweden 10-1 on Sunday. With the dominating performance, Westlake leads all tournament scorers with five goals and seven points.

“I want to win gold and that's why I'm here. I'm going to bear down and do everything in my power to win a gold medal,” Westlake said after the game.

Westlake gave Canada a 2-1 first-period lead when he finished off a pretty three-way passing play with Todd Nicholson and Billy Bridges.

He scored his second goal two minutes into the second period when he took a cross-seam feed from Adam Dixon and one-timed the puck past Swedish goaltender Ulf Nilsson.

Westlake completed his hat trick while on the penalty kill eight minutes later.

He was carrying the puck in the neutral zone when a Swedish defender blocked his path and forced Westlake to chip it in.

The puck was going wide of the Swedish net but Nilsson lunged toward it anyway, the black disc careening off his glove, changing direction and going into the cage, much to the surprise of Westlake and 5,504 people in attendance.

“I just want to enjoy the experience,” Westlake said. “I'm having a blast. I think you play your best hockey when you're having fun.”

Jeff Snyder, the Canadian team's head coach, called Westlake the best player on the ice after the Canucks knocked off Italy 4-0 in their first Paralympic game on Saturday.

The coach was just as glowing with his praise one day later.

“I thought he was really good at taking the man, being physical, but really getting himself open in shooting areas,” Snyder said.

“I sometimes say he's like (former National Hockey League player) Brett Hull in that he finds that open space on the ice. We're giving him the puck and he's burying them right now.”

With the win over Sweden, Canada improved to 2-0 at the Vancouver Paralympics. Next up for the Canadian side will be Norway, who they beat in the gold medal game in Turin in 2006.

Westlake was a member of that team as a then-19-year-old and also has a gold medal from the 2008 sledge hockey world championship.

Big goals are nothing new for the Canadian forward. He scored in the gold medal game at the 2006 Paralympics and had the game-winner with just eight seconds to go in the world championship final.

Westlake first picked up sledge hockey in 2001 and debuted with Team Canada in 2003.

He had both his legs amputated when he was 18 months old but always showed a passion for the game, wearing artificial legs when he was a kid so he could line up against his brothers.

His favourite hockey player is Calgary Flames superstar Jarome Iginla and Westlake says that's one of the reasons why he wears No. 12 on the ice.

“I've always respected the fact that Iginla can play a mean game, he can fight, he can do all of those things but then off the ice he's just a super nice guy,” he said.

“That's kind of the niche I want to carve out for myself. I'm not a bad guy out on the ice. I'll have a beer with any of the guys we play against.”

One day after the Canadian team received a pre-game good luck phone call from hockey legend Steve Yzerman, it was another legend, Mark Messier, who offered some words of wisdom before the tilt with Sweden.

Marc Dorion also registered a hat trick for Canada against Sweden and has four goals in the tournament, one behind Westlake.

Adam Dixon and Brad Bowden had two goals each, and Billy Bridges picked up four assists.

Goaltender Benoit St-Amand didn't register a save in the Canadian net for the first two periods of the game. St-Amand gave up a goal on the only first period shot that came his way and didn't have to stop a puck in the second.

He ended up making two saves.

Game Information/Renseignements sur le match
Event/Événement Paralympic Winter Games Location/Emplacement Vancouver, B.C.
Date Sun. Mar. 14, 2010 Arena/Aréna UBC Thunderbird Arena
Time/Heure 01:30 pm PT Attendance/Assistance -,---
Round/Ronde Preliminary Game #/No du match 06

Box Score/Compte
1
2
3
Final
CAN
4
4
2
10
SWE
1
0
0
1

Goals/Penalties - Buts/Pénalités
First Period/Première période

Goals/Buts :
01:25 CAN Brad Bowden (Todd Nicholson, Greg Westlake)
01:38 SWE Niklas Ingvarsson
07:44 CAN Greg Westlake (Todd Nicholson, Brad Bowden)
12:54 CAN Adam Dixon (Billy Bridges)
13:47 CAN Brad Bowden (Billy Bridges, Greg Westlake)

Penalties/Pénalités :
19:09 SWE Marcus Holm (Interference/Obstruction)

Second Period/Deuxième période

Goals/Buts :
02:13 CAN Greg Westlake (Adam Dixon, Billy Bridges) PP/AN
07:16 CAN Adam Dixon (Brad Bowden, Billy Bridges) PP/AN
10:28 CAN Greg Westlake SH/DN
11:33 CAN Marc Dorion SH/DN

Penalties/Pénalités :
01:58 SWE Niklas Ingvarsson (Boarding/Donner de la bande)
03:47 CAN Shawn Matheson (Roughing/Rudesse)
06:37 SWE Niklas Ingvarsson (Roughing/Rudesse)
09:12 CAN Marc Dorion (Interference/Obstruction)
10:12 CAN Billy Bridges ((Check to the Head/Mise en échec à la tête))
10:12 CAN Billy Bridges (Misconduct/Inconduite)
13:14 CAN Graeme Murray (Elbowing/Donner du coude)

Third Period/Troisième période

Goals/Buts :
01:19 CAN Marc Dorion (Todd Nicholson)
04:58 CAN Marc Dorion

Penalties/Pénalités :
11:12 CAN Bench/Banc (Too Many Players/Trop du joueurs)

Goaltenders CAN Benoit St-Amand
Gardiens de but SWE Ulf Nilsson
Shots on Goal Team 1 p 2 p 3 p Ttl
Shots on Goal CAN 14 8 10 32
Tirs au but SWE 1 0 2 3
 
Referee/Arbitre ---
Linesmen/Juges des lignes ---
For more information:
Adam Crockatt Manager, National Men's Teams | Responsable, équipe nationale masculine (hockey sur luge)