OSTRAVA, Czech Republic – Canada’s National Para Hockey Team fell 5-1 to the United States in the gold medal game Saturday at the 2021 IPC World Para Hockey Championship, the 103rd meeting between the cross-border rivals.
Despite a 34-save performance from goaltender Dominic Larocque (Quebec City, Que.), who was named Player of the Game, the Canadians finished with the silver medal for the third time in world championship history.
Billy Bridges (Summerside, P.E.I.) scored the lone Canadian goal on the power play in the first period, with Greg Westlake (Oakville, Ont.) and Tyler McGregor (Forest, Ont.) picking up assists.
A full game summary and recap can be found at HockeyCanada.ca.
“Overall, I thought we had a great tournament, especially with the depleted line-up we had. There are a lot of positives we can take from our effort despite the result tonight,” said McGregor. “We cannot dwell on this. We need to focus on the big picture as we look ahead to the Paralympics and trying to grow and improve as a team.”
“It was a really tough game and not the way we wanted to play. We had a tough game against RPC last night, but there are no excuses for us and we need to use this as a galvanizing moment to try to win next year at the Paralympics,” said Westlake. “We have such a great group of guys, and no one’s spirit is broken in our locker room. We are going to take the positives from this, and at the end of the day we still believe we are on the right path as we head into Beijing.”
Following the gold medal game, Larocque was named Top Goaltender and Liam Hickey (St. John’s N.L.) was named Top Defenceman by the tournament directorate.
“I am very proud of our team. The players, coaches and staff did a tremendous job given the circumstances, and we built a lot of capacity these past three weeks that we will continue to build on for the Paralympics,” said head coach Ken Babey (Saskatoon, Sask.). “The City of Ostrava is very special to our team, and I would like to thank the International Paralympic Committee and the local organizing committee for hosting a great event.”
Canada finished atop Group A with wins over the United States, South Korea and the Czech Republic, outscoring its opponents 20-1. It booked its spot in the gold medal game after edging RPC 2-1 in the semifinals.
Canada has captured four gold medals at the IPC World Para Hockey Championship (2000, 2008, 2013, 2017), to go along with three silver (2015, 2019, 2021) and three bronze (1996, 2009, 2012).
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