GAME STATS: USA 5, CANADA 1
OSTRAVA, Czech Republic – Dominic Larocque (Quebec City, Quebec) was
sensational in a 34-save performance and Billy Bridges (Summerside, P.E.I.)
scored on the power play in the first period, but 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.
It is the third time the Canadians have taken the runner-up spot at worlds;
it came up short against the Americans in 2015 in Buffalo, N.Y., and in
2019, also in Ostrava.
The Canadians came in with momentum after a 2-1 win over the U.S. to open
up the preliminary round a week ago, and they matched the Americans stride
for stride in the early minutes of the final.
A Canadian penalty near the midway mark gave the U.S. an opportunity on the
power play, and it wouldn’t miss. Declan Farmer picked up a deflected puck
near the edge of the crease and fired past Larocque with this left hand for
a 1-0 lead.
A little over three minutes later, the U.S. added to its advantage when
Travis Dodson, from a sharp angle, managed to sneak the puck between the
post and the Canadian netminder.
Canada would get a power play of its own a few minutes later, and strike to
get back within a goal. Greg Westlake (Oakville, Ont.) picked up the puck
near the face-off dot and went across the ice for Bridges, who sent a
blistering shot past U.S. netminder Steve Cash to make it 2-1 heading to
But the late goal did not translate into momentum for the Canadians, who
were outshot 18-0 in the second period and conceded a pair of goals; Josh
Pauls beat Larocque from between the hashmarks just seconds into a 5-on-3
advantage, while Farmer capitalized on a breakaway with just over a minute
to go in the period.
Action was back to end-to-end to start the third, though Canada struggled
to generate another good opportunity.
David Eustace scored midway through the final frame to put the U.S. ahead
5-1 and cap the scoring.
A pair of Canadians were recognized for their efforts follow the
tournament; Larocque was named Top Goaltender after fashioning a 1.99
goals-against average and .889 save percentage in four appearances, while
Liam Hickey (St. John’s, N.L.) earned Top Defenceman honours with three
goals, 10 points and a +12 mark in five games.
Both repeated as award winners after earning the same accolades at the 2019