Canadian Paralympic Committee
The 2021 IPC World Para Hockey Championship gets started with a bang on
Canada’s National Para Hockey Team takes on the United States in a meeting of the two best teams in the world.
How dominant have the cross-border rivals been in the sport? The Canadians
and Americans have combined to win the last five Paralympic gold medals and
the last seven world championships.
Canada played two pre-tournament games against the Czech Republic,
outscoring the hosts 23-1 in a pair of wins. James Dunn had a hat trick and
five points in a 14-1 romp last Sunday, and Tyler McGregor added three
goals of his own in a 9-0 win Monday. The second game marked the Team
Canada debut of goaltender Adam Kingsmill, who stopped all six shots he
faced for the shutout.
It’s been a while. The Canadians and Americans clashed Feb. 15, 2020 – 491
days ago – in the finale of a brief two-game series in Elmira, Ont.,
shortly before the COVID-19 pandemic shut down the hockey world. Dominic
Larocque and Steve Cash kept the game goalless into the third period –
combining for 17 stops in the first 30 minutes – but Travis Dodson scored
16 seconds into the final frame and Jack Wallace added insurance with 96
ticks left in
a 2-0 U.S. win.
WHAT TO WATCH
How will the youngsters perform? Canada’s 17-player roster includes four
players who have never competed at a world championship, and four more who
have played in just one. But the Canadian contingent also features five of
the eight top scorers in national team history, so there’s no shortage of
leadership to help the new faces along.
What about rink rust? As mentioned above, it has been almost 500 days since
the Canadians played a meaningful game, and the team hadn’t been together
as a full group since then before arriving in Ostrava almost two weeks ago
(a handful were in Calgary in January for training camp, but most of the
veterans were absent). Nothing like diving right in with a match-up against
your fiercest rival!
A LOOK BACK
The North American rivals are familiar foes, meeting 101 times since para
hockey joined the Hockey Canada program in 2004. The Canadians had the
upper hand early, winning the first 10 games and 25 of the first 30, but
have just one victory in the last 12 meetings.
Included in the head-to-head history are four showdowns in the gold medal
game at para worlds, with each country winning a pair of titles – Graeme
Murray scored the lone goal in a
1-0 Canadian win in 2013 and Tyler McGregor had two in a
4-1 triumph in 2017, while the Americans earned a
3-0 victory in 2015 and came from behind for a
3-2 overtime win in 2019.
All-time record: Canada leads 57-43-1
Canada goals: 215
United States goals: 172