Affiliate Sites expand
Hockey Canada logo

Becoming agents of change

Hockey Canada introduced mandatory diversity and inclusion training for its athletes and staff, with an eye towards its commitment to making a difference in Canada’s game

Jason La Rose
|
July 24, 2020

More than a week later, there’s one singular sentence that sticks with Sarah Nurse.

“Diversity is who’s on the team, but inclusion is who gets to play.”

The National Women’s Team forward was one of close to 500 athletes and staff involved with Canada’s national teams – men’s, women’s and para hockey – who took part in mandatory diversity and inclusion training last week.

Hockey Canada remains committed to continuing to listen and learn, and being open to change in an effort to take action around diversity. The seminars are an early step in that commitment.

Discussions on diversity and inclusion had actually been going on for more than a year, championed by Denise Pattyn, Hockey Canada’s director of human resources. As the world changed in the last few months, the conversations picked up.

“We had an opportunity in early June to just continue to have that discussion and talk about what the next steps in her plan were,” says Scott Salmond, senior vice-president of national teams with Hockey Canada. “And then it came to light that with some other things that were happening in our game and around our game and in the world, that we were really short-sighted in not providing an opportunity and taking advantage, quite honestly, of the time that we have right now with our athletes virtually to have an impact.”

Salmond and Pattyn did their research and found Tina Varughese, who has worked extensively with the Province of Alberta’s immigration office and is the president of t Works Inc., which that specializes in cross-cultural communication and work-life balance seminars, and provides customized cultural diversity training.

“She understands the game and she had a really great way of communicating her message to the athletes,” Salmond says.

Varughese focused her seminars on the idea of unconscious bias – underlying attitudes and stereotypes that people attribute to another person or group of people that affect how they understand and engage with others.

“I think the majority of us, if not everyone, feels like they don't have bias towards people. They don't discriminate,” Salmond says. “But when you start to understand what an unconscious bias is and the language that you maybe use in the conversations that you have with other people, you realize that in some ways, without even meaning it, maybe you've created that bias or maybe you have that bias.”

For her part, Varughese was thrilled with the response she received from the athletes and staff.

“They were very keen to be an agent of change … this was incredibly inspiring for me because they are all athletes and in positions of influence,” she said in an interview last week with the Toronto Star.

“I felt they were much more transparent and honest about not only recognizing that they either had unconscious bias or didn’t even know what it was, but they were also very transparent in understanding what other people might go through.”

So what comes next? How does Hockey Canada ensure this is a conversation that continues internally, and also reaches outside the organization to the greater hockey community?

“We've done the virtual part, [so] next time that we have players together, we workshop,” Salmond says. “Talk about what we want the environment to look like, what the athletes want it to look like. I think it's one thing to have a policy or an expectation and to present that or write that somewhere. It's more powerful if the athletes are behind it and they have an opportunity to create it.

“It's really a responsibility that we have as a national sport organization and an opportunity that we have with our athletes and our staff to have an impact at the national level. And hopefully that impact finds its way to club teams and into communities across Canada.”

Emerance Maschmeyer

In My Own Words: Emerance Maschmeyer

The National Women’s Team goaltender talks about life with partner Geneviève Lacasse, starting a family, being a trailblazer in the PWHL and the importance of being one’s true self

Emerance Maschmeyer
|
June 15, 2024

A few of our friends described it as a “hard launch.”

Geneviève and I decided not to officially “come out,” but instead we decided to just post the photos from our wedding last July. At that point, our friends, our families, our circle – the people who meant the most – all knew about our relationship.

We wondered if we needed to have a big coming out story. But we thought posting the photos of the day was a fun way of saying, “This is us. We got married,” like anyone else would post about getting married. It was time for us to just put ourselves out there and not be scared. There was so much love and support, and it was just so inspiring to see the effect we were able to have, just posting about our relationship.

We have a platform and influence, and we have people who follow our journeys. At the end of the day, those who support us will support us, and we want them in our lives, and we want to connect with them, but those who don’t, that’s all right.

We knew the impact we could have sharing our relationship and sharing our story; we knew there would be a positive impact, and we could help so many other individuals with their journey. And so maybe with age, there was some courage in telling our story, but we have all the support we need. So, for us, it was – how do we help others and support others now?

Going public was a huge weight lifted off our shoulders that neither of us recognized was there. And now I feel like we’re very open to having conversations, talking about our relationship and being our true selves. It’s been a rewarding journey. It was only a year ago, and it’s been so fun to just be out there and be us as a couple.

Geneviève and I started dating in 2015. I told my sister pretty early on about our relationship. Geneviève was the first woman that I ever dated. So, I also wanted to make sure that it was something, a longstanding relationship, before I told my entire family, which I would’ve done in any relationship that I was in.

I was in school at Harvard at the time, and so my teammates and friends at school knew early as well. And I knew I wanted to tell my family, but I wanted to do it in person. I didn’t want to make it a big deal, but I also know the norm in society is still, you’re heterosexual until you say otherwise. You have to come out and tell your story. I wanted to make it as normal as possible, but I also wanted to have in-person conversations with my family.

About a year after we started dating, I started telling my family. I told my parents one at a time. I went through my family. And I have a big family, so it was a lot of conversations. Being young, I was 20 years old, I was quite nervous about the conversations, but ultimately my family was so supportive– every conversation left me with ‘my family supports me and loves me no matter who I love.’ I know that’s not the case for everyone, but I am very fortunate to have a family that has my back no matter what. They were just happy I was in a loving relationship.

There were hesitations in coming out publicly, but it didn’t really have anything to do with our sexuality. It had everything to do with the fact that both of us were still active with the National Women’s Team, and we didn’t want our news to be about our relationship or our sexuality. We wanted it to be about hockey and our performance.

It’s certainly not easy when you and your partner share a profession. At the beginning, we had to say to each other that in many ways our relationship comes first, but we also have to put our own hockey first. And not in a selfish way, it’s more like… “If you do everything you can to make a team and to put yourself in a position to play, and I do everything I can to make a team and put myself in a position to play, then it’s not up to us. It’s up to the coach, it’s up to the scouts, it’s up to external factors.”

We were on the journey together, we were working hard and doing everything we could do individually, but when it came down to those decisions, we weren’t angry at each other. We could feel empathy if one played over the other, but at the end of the day, if one of us is in net, then it became, “Okay, I support you or you support me.”

We did have some bumps in the road along the way. I was released from the 2018 Olympics and she made the team. And then vice versa, in 2022, I made the Olympic team and she was released. This presented us with a big learning opportunity in our relationship. The first time around when I was released, we weren’t equipped with the skills to handle it. It was a big dream of mine to make that team and to play in the Olympics. And what do you say to your partner on either end, the one who makes it or the one who doesn’t? Navigating the situation and our dynamic was complex. We were supportive of one another, and to protect our relationship we felt that not talking about hockey was the best course.

The second time around, going into Beijing, we learned how to talk through it. We gained an understanding of how to have difficult conversations, to talk about how we feel. We wish that neither of those situations happened, but they actually made our relationship a lot stronger. We have acquired the skills to support each other and communicate through difficult situations, and recognize the importance of continuously practicing and refining those skills.

We found out we were pregnant in late 2023, a few months after we got married. We’re fortunate that we have friends that have gone through the fertility treatment process that we could use as a resource, and so we asked a lot of questions. We did a lot of research. We were living in Quebec, and luckily there’s funding to make the financial burden easier. Our journey to conception wasn’t long, and for that we are grateful.

It’s been quite a journey. We’re so excited to start our family and welcome our little boy to the world. It’s something that we had been wanting to do for so long, but having us both playing, it wasn’t really a possibility, especially without the salaries and security of a professional league. But now we’re finally in a position where I’m playing in the PWHL and Geneviève has security in her job as manager of corporate sponsorships and sales with the league. It’s the most security and stability we’ve had in a long time, and we’re excited to start our family.

We are looking forward to having our son grow up around strong women. And we know that he’ll grow up to respect women and look at women’s athletes as just athletes.

And I can’t forget the gender reveal! I was sitting on the bus with Emily Clark on a road trip this year, and we were chatting about doing a gender reveal, and just brainstorming some ideas. And then somehow it came up that it would be so fun to have an obstacle course and have the team involved. It evolved into Clark vs. Jenner, boy vs. girl, and went from there.

Geneviève and I gave them the link to the gender, because we wanted to be surprised as well. We set up one day after practice, and Clarky and Jenner, they came up with how the race would go. It turned out so good!

This year has been such a whirlwind. The wedding, the announcement of the PWHL, signing with Ottawa, finding out we were pregnant, launching the league, winning another world championship … hard to believe that’s only the last 11 months.

It’s been so incredible, the momentum that we have in the PWHL, the fandom, the support, the investment and the visibility. And just the growth that we’ve had within just our first season. Being a professional hockey player still feels surreal to me, but the pride I felt every time I stepped onto the ice with my teammates in Ottawa this season … it’s indescribable to be part of something so special.

Obviously, there’s still a long way to go for equity and parity, but we’ve made some huge steps in the past few years. Even in the grassroots now, there’s that ripple effect from the PWHL of getting women in sport and staying in sport.

At our games, I see young fans, not just young girls, but young boys too who just see us as hockey players. They don’t see us as women’s hockey players. They’re looking up to us like, “You’re my favourite player, you’re my favourite goalie.” They’re not saying, “You’re my favourite female goalie.” It’s been fantastic to see the shift in the mindset, and there are so many more stepping stones to come.

Because it is Pride Month, which means so much to me, I did want to end with a few thoughts.

Individually, everyone can look inward and see where they can do the work. I think often, people lead with assumptions when meeting someone. But we can all do a better job at letting them tell their story versus labelling them with, ‘You are this or you are that.’ It can be intimidating to be your true self because of preconceived assumptions.

Unfortunately, there’s going to be hate online. That’s unavoidable in the social media age we live in. But I think as much as we can, we need to hold on to the love and the support, and ensure the kind, loving, supportive voices drown out the negative ones.

As someone who’s in a same-sex relationship, I know that at times I can still be a little timid or discouraged to be my true self, but for those in our community, I encourage you to be as courageous as you can. Be your true self. If you come into a conversation and lead with your authentic self, it will start changing minds slowly. One person at a time.

We are moving in the right direction, and together is how we’re going to keep moving.

View More

Host locations selected for 2024 fall events

Ontario to host U17 World Challenge, Atlantic Canada to welcome U18 Women’s National Championship and Para Cup

NR.037.24
|
May 28, 2024

CALGARY, Alberta – Hockey Canada has announced the host communities for three of its fall events: the 2024 U17 World Challenge, 2024 U18 Women’s National Championship and 2024 Para Cup.

“These events play a critical role in the development of men’s, women’s and para hockey athletes, coaches, officials and staff, and we are thrilled to be bringing them to communities in Ontario, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island,” said Pat McLaughlin, chief operating officer and executive vice-president of strategy. “They are an excellent opportunity to create lifelong memories and leave a legacy in each community for years to come.”

The 2024 U17 World Challenge will be played Nov. 1-9 in Sarnia, Ontario. It is the seventh time Ontario will play host to the tournament, and the second time in Sarnia, following 2014.

The 2024 U18 Women’s National Championship will run Nov. 3-9 in Quispamsis, New Brunswick, bringing the event – and the future stars of the women’s game – to Atlantic Canada for the first time.

Canada’s National Para Hockey Team, which won a home-ice gold medal at the 2024 World Para Hockey Championship earlier this month, will compete against three countries at the 2024 Para Cup, which will be held Dec. 8-14 in Charlottetown, P.E.I. It is the fifth time the tournament will be held in the Birthplace of Confederation and coincides with the 50th anniversary of ParaSport & Recreation PEI.

Fans can sign up now to receive ticket information or become a Hockey Canada Insider and receive advanced access to tickets and other promotions.

“These tournaments are often once-in-a-lifetime opportunities for participants, families and fans,” said Dean McIntosh, vice-president of strategic partnerships and community impact. “I’m confident in the host committees in these three great hockey markets and know we are set up for success with the passionate hockey fans and volunteers in each community.”

In the spring, Canada’s U18 Women’s National Club Championship will be decided at the 2025 Esso Cup, April 20-26 in Lloydminster, Alberta , while the U18 Men’s National Club Championship will be up for grabs April 21-27 at the 2025 TELUS Cup in Chilliwack, B.C.

The host communities for the 2025 Centennial Cup, presented by Tim Hortons, and 2024 Junior A World Challenge will be announced at a later date.

To learn more about Hockey Canada, please visit HockeyCanada.ca , or follow along through social media on Facebook , X and Instagram .

View More
Canada vs. United States

Para Worlds Preview: Canada vs. United States

Sunday, May 12 | 5:30 p.m. MT | Calgary, Alberta | Gold Medal Game

Jason La Rose
|
May 12, 2024

This one’s for all the marbles. The 2024 World Para Hockey Championship comes to a close Sunday at WinSport Arena with an all-North American matchup for gold as Canada’s National Para Hockey Team takes on the United States.

Last Game

Canada survived a semifinal thriller, getting goals 84 seconds apart from Micah Kovacevich and Dominic Cozzolino early in the third period to earn a come-from-behind 2-1 victory over China on Friday night. Tyler McGregor added two assists for the Canadians.

The Americans had a nail-biter of their own in Friday’s first semifinal, getting the go-ahead goal from Malik Jones with 7:01 remaining to earn a 3-1 win over Czechia and a chance to defend their world title. Chris Douglas scored the other two goals for the U.S.

Last Meeting

The Canadians and Americans have met 10 times this season, most recently in the finale of a brief two-game series in Calgary in early April. Liam Hickey scored for Canada, but the Americans got a goal and an assist from Josh Misiewicz and the game-winner from Declan Farmer to leave the Canadians with a 4-1 defeat.

What to Watch

Adam Kingsmill continues to be an absolute workhorse for the Canadians this season; the Smithers, B.C., product has appeared in 17 of the 20 games played by Canada’s National Para Hockey Team this season and was terrific in the semifinals. After having faced just 11 shots across his first two starts, Kingsmill turned away 14 of 15 on Friday night, keeping the Canadians in the game as they looked to break through the Chinese defence and erase an early deficit. Not bad for a netminder who wasn’t part of the Canadian roster a year ago at Para Worlds and had just 10 international appearances on his résumé entering this season.

The American offence starts and ends with Farmer. The 26-year-old is once again at the top of the tournament scoring chart, posting 19 points (10-9—19) in four games, including a four-goal game in the Day 1 win over Slovakia and an eight-point effort in a win over China in the prelim finale. But the most important play the Tampa native has made all tournament long might not have come with the puck on his stick; with the U.S. clinging to a one-goal lead late in its semifinal with the Czechs, Farmer sprawled across the goal line to deny Czech captain Radek Zelinka and ensure he would have a shot at a fifth world championship.

A Look Back

The head-to-head history between the Canadians and Americans is very close, with the U.S. holding a narrow 66-59-1 advantage.

The Americans have had the upper hand as of late; the last win for Canada came back on Oct. 29, 2021, when Anton Jacobs-Webb scored the winner 13 seconds into the third period, helping the Canadians earn a 4-2 victory in the opener of a two-game series in the St. Louis suburbs.

It’s the seventh time the rivals will meet for Para Worlds gold, and the seventh in a row. Canada has won two of those finals, claiming a pair of world titles on Korean ice – 2013 in Goyang and 2017 in Gangneung.

All-time record: United States leads 66-59-1 (13-8 in OT/SO)
Canada goals: 243
United States goals: 278

View More

Canada wins gold at 2024 World Para Hockey Championship

Canadians capture first gold medal at Para Worlds since 2017

NR.033.24
|
May 12, 2024

CALGARY, Alberta – Canada’s National Para Hockey Team has won gold at the World Para Hockey Championship for the first time since 2017, defeating the United States 2-1 in Sunday’s gold medal game at WinSport Arena.

Adam Kingsmill (Smithers, BC)
turned in a sensational performance in the Canadian goal, making 24 saves and earning Player of the Game honours.

The Canadians wasted no time in opening the scoring; Dominic Cozzolino (Mississauga, ON) tucked in his seventh goal of the tournament off a rebound from a Rob Armstrong (Erin, ON) shot just 35 seconds into the game, the lone goal of the first period.

“Scoring that early felt amazing. It was our plan to come out and get an early start, but it could have been any one of the guys in our locker room that scored, I was just in the right place at the right time,” Cozzolino said.We put a lot of pride in selling out to play good defence, and that win is a testament to every guy in on our team. This is an amazing feeling; it is what you dream of as a kid. This feels so good right now.”

Anton Jacobs-Webb (Gatineau, QC) doubled the Canadian lead off a behind-the-net feed from captain Tyler McGregor (Forest, ON) with 5:54 remaining in the second period for the eventual game-winning goal.

“I had the same mindset for every game. Our head coach Russ Herrington has brought us through with a strong mindset, so I think everyone on our team was able to play freely today,” Kingsmill said. “I did not see the puck very often because my teammates kept blocking shots. They made the game easy for me. I feel great, my whole family is here. I cannot help but smile. I do not have words to sum it all up right now, I think it will take a little while before I can do that.”

For a full game summary and recap, please visit HockeyCanada.ca.

“We needed to be ready for the day that things aligned for us – that is our responsibility. I have to credit our guys for showing patience and allowing the weight of the game to not become an impact on their performance,” said head coach Russ Herrington (Unionville, ON). “Props to the Calgary community for coming out tonight and spending Mother’s Day evening here cheering on Team Canada. I really felt like that energy helped us for sure, and you could certainly feel the pride from the crowd oozing into our bench and carried on the ice.”

Following the game, Cozzolino was named the Top Forward of the tournament.

Canada finished first in Group B with a perfect 3-0 record in the preliminary round with wins over Japan (19-0), Italy (10-0) and Czechia (5-1). Canada then booked its spot in the gold medal game with a 2-1 semifinal victory over China.

In 13 appearances, Canada has captured five gold medals at the World Para Hockey Championship (2000, 2008, 2013, 2017, 2024), in addition to four silver (2015, 2019, 2021, 2023) and three bronze (1996, 2009, 2012).

For more information on Hockey Canada and Canada’s National Para Hockey Team, please visit HockeyCanada.ca or follow through social media on FacebookX and Instagram.

View More
Canada vs. Sweden

Para Worlds Preview: Canada vs. China

Friday, May 10 | 5:30 p.m. MT | Calgary, Alberta | Semifinal

Jason La Rose
|
May 10, 2024

It’s on to the playoffs for Canada’s National Para Hockey Team, which takes on China in the second semifinal Friday at the 2024 World Para Hockey Championship.

Last Game

Canada closed out a perfect preliminary round with a 5-1 win over Czechia on Tuesday night. Tyler McGregor finished with a pair of goals – including the game-winner just 11 seconds into the second period – as did James Dunn. Liam Hickey added a goal and two assists, while Dominic Cozzolino had three helpers.

The Chinese finished out their prelim schedule with a 10-0 loss to the United States on Tuesday afternoon. After scoring 10 goals in each of their first two games to earn a semifinal spot, China managed just three shots against the Americans. Wei Wang finished with 20 saves in the Chinese goal.

Last Meeting

The Canadians and Chinese met for the first time ever at the 2023 Para Hockey Cup in Quispamsis, New Brunswick, last December. After scoring a 4-1 win in the tournament opener, Canada earned a 6-0 semifinal victory on the back of a McGregor hat trick and four assists from Cozzolino.

What to Watch

Auren Halbert has been terrific in front of the hometown fans in Calgary, contributing a goal and three assists in three prelim games. The 21-year-old also shares the team lead (alongside McGregor and Hickey) with a +15 mark. And while the Cozzolino-Hickey-McGregor triumvirate has posted a ridiculous 45 points (20-25—45) between them, the Canadians are getting contributions from up and down the lineup – eight of the nine forwards and all four defencemen averaged at least a point per game in the preliminary round.

While the offence dried up against the Americans, China was all over the scoresheet in shutout wins over Korea and Slovakia. And it was offence by committee – five players (Shen Yi Feng, Zhang Zheng, Zhu Zhan Fu, Tian Jin Tao, Li Hong Guan) posted at least five points in the two wins, while Song Xiao Dong scored a team-high five goals. In goal, Ji Yan Zhao was perfect between the pipes, turning aside all 13 shots he faced in the two wins.

A Look Back

Nothing to look back at that hasn’t already been mentioned above. Two games in Quispamsis, two wins for Canada.

All-time record: Canada leads 2-0
Canada goals: 10
China goals: 1

View More

A place to belong

Since 2011, the Calgary Sledge Hockey Association has been creating opportunities – and building Team Canada athletes like Auren Halbert along the way

Lee Boyadjian
|
May 09, 2024

Smiles, laughter and pure joy. The first time getting on the ice for anyone who loves the game quickly becomes a core memory. But for Auren Halbert, it was so much more.

“It was the first time I'd ever had a competitive outlet, and to be among other people with similar disabilities, it was just incredible,” says the 22-year-old, who was born without a femur in his left leg.

Playing at the 2024 World Para Hockey Championship on home ice in Calgary is special for Auren. He played the preliminary round in front a sizeable contingent of family and friends, most with a direct connection to the Calgary Sledge Hockey Association (CSHA), the launching point of his career.

“We've had a great run of Team Canada men’s players that have come through our organization: Cody Dolan, Zach Lavin, Auren and Adam Kingsmill,” says Alan Halbert, president of the CSHA and proud dad to Auren. “But we're not here to build everybody into Team Canada players, we’re here to build people into the best versions of themselves.

“We just want to go out and have fun.”

The CSHA has had a presence in the Stampede City since the 1980s, but has grown from about 20 players to more than 80 since officially incorporating in 2011, with more than 20 coaches and volunteers giving support. There are programs for players of any age, skill and ability level.

Teams are divided by age and skill level, with players under 18 years old making up the junior team (Venom) before graduating to the intermediate team (Stingers), though high-performance athletes may transition through the levels more quickly. The senior team (Scorpions) is the highest level available and competes provincially or even nationally.

The senior team wasn’t always the powerhouse it has developed into, and a decade ago Alan had to learn the sport himself to help with the roster.

“At that time, I was naïve. I was like ‘Can I play? It’s kind of a disability sport.’ But now everybody is in there, it’s so inclusive,” he explains, adding that he has seen teams built as able-bodied friends and family support a loved-one with a disability.

“He started a couple years after I did and at first he was definitely a better player than I was,” Auren says of his dad with a laugh. “That definitely helped with my competitiveness; I just had to prove to my dad that I was a better player than he was.”

While there is no question the younger Halbert has become the stronger of the two, it is the dedication of Alan and his wife, Ashley, to the CSHA that has had a major impact on his own commitment to the game.

“It’s honestly unbelievable the amount of effort [my parents] have put into the organization,” Auren says. “It’s just super awesome to be able to have such good support in the city.

“It’s pretty inspiring to see how passionate [my parents] are about this.”

Alan has held just about every role within the association: athlete, coach, board member and treasurer. He took on the presidency in 2017 but shortly after was relocated to Pittsburgh for work. With no one else interested in the position, he remained at the helm, working remotely long before that was the norm. Seven years later, Alan is still president and continues to look for ways to grow the CSHA.

“We are kind of on the forefront of always trying to expand the sport, not only within Calgary, but we help a lot of the surrounding areas and provinces as well,” Alan explains. “We have a really great rapport with a lot of teams that we were playing as Auren was growing up, and they were just creating their programs… so they wanted to do something and we're there to help them or just to play.”

Auren also remains active with the CSHA, practicing and sometimes playing with the senior team. He also hopes to help with a summer camp this year “just to get out and teach people what I know.”

But first, the young defenceman has to close out his fifth season with Canada’s National Para Hockey Team with his fourth Para Worlds, in the same rink where he saw Team Canada play for the first time 13 years ago.

“In Auren’s first season, we kind of got going, hit the ground running and within a couple of months the World Sledge Hockey Challenge was [in Calgary],” Alan remembers. “I think he ended up on the ice as a flag-bearer, so got really exposed and that fueled his fire from a young age.

“It’s kind of come full circle.”

Auren knows this Para Worlds is his opportunity to create that same drive in a young athlete and bring new fans to the game. And while that motivates his play, he is eager to put on a show for the people who have supported him from the beginning.

“I think it'll be the first time a lot of my family have seen me play at this level, so it’s going to be pretty meaningful to be able to show them all I can do,” Auren says. “To have people I know in the stands and to know that they're all cheering for me and maybe hear a couple chants from them in the crowd… this will definitely be one of the greatest moments of all time for me.”

View More
Canada vs. Sweden

Para Worlds Preview: Canada vs. Czechia

Tuesday, May 7 | 5 p.m. MT | Calgary, Alberta | Preliminary Round

Jason La Rose
|
May 07, 2024

First place in Group B is on the line Tuesday night when Canada’s National Para Hockey Team closes out the preliminary round against Czechia in a battle of unbeaten teams at the 2024 World Para Hockey Championship.

Last Game

Canada continued its offensive roll Sunday against Italy, reaching double digits for the second time in as many games in a 10-0 victory. Tyler McGregor led the charge with four goals and an assist, while Liam Hickey added two goals and four assists to take over the tournament scoring lead with 13 points (5-8—13) in two games.

The Czechs also made it two wins in as many tries Sunday, posting a 5-0 victory over Japan. Filip Vesely scored twice and added an assist, and Vaclav Hecko chipped in with a goal and a helper. Martin Kudela made eight saves for the shutout for the defending bronze medallists.

Last Meeting

Five months ago, the Canadians and Czechs clashed in preliminary-round play at the 2023 Para Hockey Cup in Quispamsis, New Brunswick. Dominic Cozzolino scored twice in the second period and Anton Jacobs-Webb rounded out the scoring in the third as Canada earned a 3-0 win.

What to Watch

He did get a lot of the headlines, but Tyrone Henry was in the spotlight Sunday night as he played his 100th game with Canada’s National Para Hockey Team. The Ottawa native has long been known for his stalwart defensive play, but he’s been all over the scoresheet through two games; after recording 17 assists across his first 98 games, he had six on the weekend in Calgary, including five in the opening win over Japan on Sautrday. The two-time Paralympian became the 14th player to reach the century mark with Team Canada.

Radek Zelinka leads from the back end for the Czechs; he was named Best Defenceman a year ago in Moose Jaw after scoring three goals to help the Czechs to bronze, and he has three assists through two games in Calgary. Kudela is a workhorse in the Czech goal; he played every second at the 2023 Para Worlds, and has been between the pipes for both games so far in 2024, turning aside 12 of 13 shots in wins over the Italians and Japanese.

A Look Back

Canada is perfect against the Czechs, winning all 16 of their meetings since 2009.

The biggest win came in the prelims at the 2021 Para Worlds on Czech ice in Ostrava, when Tyler McGregor and Zach Lavin contributed hat tricks to a 10-0 Canadian win. McGregor finished with five points in that one, while Billy Bridges chipped in with four assists.

All-time record: Canada leads 16-0
Canada goals: 63
Czechia goals: 4

View More
Canada vs. Sweden

Para Worlds Preview: Canada vs. Italy

Sunday, May 5 | 5 p.m. MT | Calgary, Alberta | Preliminary Round

Jason La Rose
|
May 05, 2024

Canada’s National Para Hockey Team is right back to action at the 2024 World Para Hockey Championship on Sunday, taking on Italy in the second of its three preliminary-round games at WinSport Arena.

Last Game

Canada flexed its offensive muscle in its tournament opener Saturday, scoring 10 goals in the first period en route to a 19-0 win over Japan. Dominic Cozzolino finished with four goals and four assists, and Adam Dixon, Liam Hickey and Tyler McGregor all had hat tricks for the Canadians, who had their most profilic offensive performance since coming under the Hockey Canada umbrella in 2004.

The Italians closed out Day 1 at WinSport Arena with a 4-1 loss to Czechia. Nils Larch scored the lone goal on a third-period power play, while Sandro Stillitano was terrific in a 28-save effort in the Italian goal.

Last Meeting

The Canadians and Italians last clashed in preliminary-round play at the 2022 Para Hockey Cup in Bridgewater, Nova Scotia, an 8-0 win for Canada. James Dunn paced the offence with a hat trick and an assist, while Tyler McGregor netted a pair of goals as the Canadians racked up 48 shots on goal.

What to Watch

How about the top line? Cozzolino, Hickey and McGregor dominated the scoresheet against the Japanese, combining for 10 goals and 22 points – in addition to Cozzolino’s effort mentioned above, Hickey and McGregor each had a hat trick and three assists. Big numbers are nothing new for the trio – McGregor (11-10—21 in 16 GP) and Cozzolino (6-12—18 in 16 GP) were Canada’s top scorers this season, while Hickey (4-2—6 in 11 GP) found his game towards the end of the season after missing almost a year through injury.

Age is just a number for Stillitano. The goaltender – who will celebrate his 55th birthday next month – had another standout performance on the world stage in the opener against the Czechs. A year ago in Moose Jaw, the Italian puck-stopper was named Best Goaltender by the tournament directorate after posting a 2.11 goals-against average and a tournament-best .906 save percentage. The four-time Paralympian is playing in his 11th world championship.

A Look Back

Thirteen games, 13 wins for Canada in the head-to-head history, outscoring the Italians 87-3.

The last meeting at Para Worlds came back in 2017 in South Korea; Hickey and Billy Bridges recorded two goals and two assists in a 7-0 win for the Canadians, who ended that tournament by winning their fourth and most recent world title.

All-time record: Canada leads 13-0
Canada goals: 87
Italy goals: 3

View More
Canada vs. Sweden

Para Worlds Preview: Canada vs. Japan

Saturday, May 4 | 5 p.m. MT | Calgary, Alberta | Preliminary Round

Jason La Rose
|
May 04, 2024

Canada’s National Para Hockey Team is set to drop the puck at the 2024 World Para Hockey Championship, welcoming Japan to WinSport Arena on Saturday to get preliminary-round play started in Group B.

Last Game

Canada closed out its brief two-game series against the United States with a 4-1 loss on April 5 on the same Calgary ice that will host Para Worlds. Liam Hickey provided the lone goal for the Canadians, who got 16 saves from Adam Kingsmill in defeat.

Results from the 2023-24 season are scarce for the Japanese, so let’s go back to the 2023 Pool B Para Worlds, when they booked their place in Pool A with an unbeaten run in Astana, Kazakhstan. They capped the tournament with an 8-0 win over Finland in their round-robin finale, getting two goals and two assists from captain Masaharu Kumagai.

Last Meeting

You have to go all the way back to the prelim opener at the 2015 worlds in Buffalo, when Canada romped to its second-biggest victory ever, 17-0. Greg Westlake – who is on the Canadian staff as an assistant coach in Calgary – finished with five goals and three assists, Brad Bowden added three goals and five helpers and Canada scored 12 goals in the opening 15 minutes.

What to Watch

Tyler McGregor loves the big stage. The Canadian captain has led or co-led Canada in scoring at each of the last three world championships – in 2019 (6-7—13), 2021 (8-3—11) and 2023 (4-6—10) – and he finished second to Adam Dixon in 2017 (12-5—17). McGregor comes into Para Worlds needing just three goals to pass Bowden for the third-most in Team Canada history (128).

Kumagai is the offensive star for Japan. He led the way a year ago in Astana with 11 goals and six assists in five games, including a seven-goal, eight-point outing against Great Britain, and his totals don’t include a crucial goal in the shootout against Slovakia, a win that all but clinched a place in Pool A for the Asian side.

A Look Back

Canada has owned the head-to-head history, winning 22 of 23 games and outscoring Japan 164-18.

Remember the note above about the 17-0 win in 2015 being the SECOND-biggest ever? The largest margin of victory for Canada came in 2010 – an 18-0 rout in Rochester, New York. Dixon led the charge with three goals and three assists for the Canadians, who racked up 53 shots on goal.

All-time record: Canada leads 22-1
Canada goals: 164
Japan goals: 18

View More

National Para Hockey Team roster named for 2024 World Para Hockey Championship

17 players will go for gold on home ice in Calgary

NR.024.24
|
April 18, 2024

CALGARY, Alberta – With less than a month until the puck drops, Hockey Canada has announced the 17 players who will wear the Maple Leaf with Canada’s National Para Hockey Team and compete for a gold medal at the 2024 World Para Hockey Championship, May 4-12 at WinSport Arena in Calgary.

The roster – two goaltenders, five defenceman and 10 forwards - was selected by head coach Russ Herrington (Unionville, ON) and assistant coaches Mike Fountain (Gravenhurst, ON), Boris Rybalka (Vernon, BC) and Greg Westlake (Oakville, ON).  

“We have been working hard to grow as a team since our initial evaluation camp in September. All of our players have shown resiliency and perseverance this season, which has made it challenging - in the best of ways - as staff to assemble this roster,” said Herrington. “Representing Canada on home ice is a special opportunity and we are confident this group will put in the necessary efforts to make Canadians proud from coast to coast to coast.”

The journey to the world championship began last September in Calgary, where 30 players were invited to evaluation camp. The competition schedule included the IPH Cup in Ostrava, Czechia, the Para Hockey Cup in Quispamsis, New Brunswick, and two series against the United States in Minot, North Dakota, and Calgary.

The roster features 12 players who won a silver medal at the 2023 World Para Hockey Championship (Boily, Burnett, Cozzolino, Dixon, Dunn, Halbert, Henry, Jacobs-Webb, Kovacevich, Lelièvre, McGregor, Smith), and 14 who captured a silver medal at the 2023 Para Hockey Cup (Armstrong, Burnett, Cozzolino, Dixon, Dunn, Halbert, Henry, Hickey, Jacobs-Webb, Kingsmill, Kovacevich, Lavin, McGregor, Smith).

The support staff that will work with Canada’s National Para Hockey Team during the 2024 World Para Hockey Championship are:

  • Assistant coach, mindset and leadership Liam Heelis (Georgetown, ON)
  • Video coach Steve Arsenault (Spruce Grove, AB)
  • Equipment managers Grant Boswall (Cornwall, PE) and Tyler Jay (Charlottetown, PE)
  • Athletic therapist Tracy Meloche (Essex, ON)
  • Team physician Dr. Danielle Kelton (Guelph, ON)
  • Hockey operations coordinator Hannah Curlock (Calgary, AB)
  • ​Communications coordinator ​Jacob Wolfenden (Hamilton, ON)

Canada will be joined by Czechia, Italy and Japan in Group B at the world championship, while Group A features China, Korea, Slovakia and the United States.

Canada opens its preliminary-round schedule on Saturday, May 4 at 5 p.m. MT against Japan. It will face Italy on May 5 before closing out prelim action against Czechia on May 7.

Fans can guarantee their seat by purchasing a full-event ticket package for as low as $99 at HockeyCanada.ca/Tickets.

All 20 tournament games will be available for free via livestream at HockeyCanada.ca.

Canada has captured four gold medals at the World Para Hockey Championship (2000, 2008, 2013, 2017), in addition to four silver (2015, 2019, 2021, 2023) and three bronze (1996, 2009, 2012).

For more information on Hockey Canada and Canada’s National Para Hockey Team, please visit HockeyCanada.ca or follow through social media on Facebook, X and Instagram.

View More

For more information:

Esther Madziya
Manager, Communications
Hockey Canada

(403) 284-6484 

[email protected] 

Spencer Sharkey
Manager, Communications
Hockey Canada

(403) 777-4567

[email protected]

Jeremy Knight
Manager, Corporate Communications
Hockey Canada

(647) 251-9738

[email protected]

Videos
Photos
play_logo
HCF: Dreams Come True in Membertou
play_logo
MWC: Highlights – SWE 4, CAN 2 (Bronze Medal)
play_logo
MWC: Highlights – SUI 3, CAN 2 SO (Semifinal)
play_logo
MWC: Highlights – CAN 6, SVK 3 (Quarterfinal)
play_logo
MWC: Highlights – CAN 4, CZE 3 OT (Preliminary)
play_logo
MWC: Remembering the wild ride in Riga
play_logo
Centennial: Highlights – Collingwood 1, Melfort 0 (Championship)
play_logo
MWC: Highlights – CAN 3, SUI 2 (Preliminary)
play_logo
MWC: Highlights – CAN 5, FIN 3 (Preliminary)
play_logo
NMT: Evason brings passion and pride to Prague
play_logo
MWC: Highlights – CAN 4, NOR 1 (Preliminary)
play_logo
Miramichi Timberwolves (MHL) vs. Collingwood Blues (OJHL)| Centennial Cup
Schedule
HC Logo
Edmonton, Alta., Canada
Date: Aug 3 to 10