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The rise of Tyler McGregor

Just five years after strapping into a sled for the first time, Tyler McGregor has become one of the go-to players with Canada’s National Sledge Team, on and off the ice

David Brien
|
January 18, 2016

How good was Tyler McGregor’s start to the 2015-16 season?

When Canada’s National Sledge Team departed for Turin, Italy, and the 2015 International Ice Sledge Hockey Tournament in early December, McGregor’s career totals with Team Canada included nine goals, 13 assists, and 22 points in 47 games across three seasons.

McGregor almost surpassed those numbers in one tournament – he racked up 11 goals and 10 assists in six games in Italy, helping Canada to gold and making a massive leap up the all-time scoring list.

But making a massive leap is nothing new to McGregor.

Just 21, he is quickly making his mark on Canadian sledge hockey. His résumé already includes a gold medal at the 2013 IPC World Sledge Ice Hockey Championship, bronze medal at the 2014 Sochi Winter Paralympic Games, and the gold in Turin, in addition to a gold (2013) and bronze (2015) at the World Sledge Hockey Challenge.

And through those international experiences, the Forest, Ont., native continues to develop on and off the ice.

“Tyler just continues to progress as a player,” says Ken Babey, head coach of Canada’s National Sledge Team. “He’s continuing to get better in all aspects of his game, whether it’s passing, shooting, [or] skating. He has a lot of passion and spirit and he plays a real Canadian style; he puts his nose in and goes hard all the time.”

Those were the same qualities McGregor had as a highly-touted Minor Midget player with the Lambton Jr. Sting before a cancer diagnosis in 2009 led to the amputation of his left leg above the knee and ended his stand-up hockey dreams.

By 2011 McGregor was in a sled for the first time with the London Blizzard, he debuted for Canada’s National Sledge Development Team in January 2012, and was a full-time member of the national team by the following fall.

His career path has pointed nowhere but up ever since.

But while Turin may have been his coming-out party, he’s the first one to say he couldn’t have done it alone.

“Every time you have a tournament like I had in Italy, you have to give credit to all the guys around you, and I’ve been fortunate to be surrounded by some very good players,” he says. “Especially at this level, the individual efforts are very rare, so I have to credit my teammates who also had tremendous tournaments in Italy.”

In particular, McGregor’s strong play rubbed off on Team Canada rookie Dominic Cozzolino, who finished his first tournament with the national team with 14 points (six goals, eight assists) in six games.

So what’s behind the sudden jump in offensive output? McGregor credits good ol’ fashioned hard work.

Just in the three-plus years he’s been part of Team Canada, he’s watched the game get faster and more skilled, and knows that without practice, nothing is guaranteed – especially not a roster spot.

“I’ve always worked hard away from the team and I always felt it’s important to do that,” he says. “I’m still relatively new to the sport, so it’s a matter of continuing to build that skill set and it’s finally starting to pay dividends.”

Because Canada’s National Sledge Team is not a centralized program – meeting only every few months for camps in his first few seasons – McGregor has had a lot of alone time to work on his skills and better his game.

After every camp and tournament, McGregor heads home to southwestern Ontario with new tips and tricks that he works on during his down time. And all the work he’s putting into his game isn’t going unnoticed.

“It takes a lot of discipline and commitment to do that – and obviously he has those because every time he comes back he’s gotten better and better. You could tell he’s been practicing a lot,” says Babey.

His competitiveness, matched with a solid work ethic, is what has earned McGregor the respect of his teammates and coaches. Without trying he’s become a natural leader, even for the veteran players.

If you ask him, he’ll be the first to say that he simply goes out and plays. But his coach has a different opinion, one of the big reasons McGregor earned the honour this season of wearing an ‘A’ with Team Canada.

“I wouldn’t have believed it,” McGregor says about wearing a letter on his Team Canada jersey. “Especially amongst the group of guys we have here. It’s incredible because I truly believe that any guy on this team can be considered a leader. So to have that recognition and to know that guys have your back is very important to me.”

“He’s showing both veterans and rookies that you need to work hard and that by the way he approaches the game, and how professionally he acts away from the ice, is how to do things the Canadian way,” Babey says.

Just three years into his Team Canada career, already an alternate captain, and on the verge of breaking into the top 10 in all-time scoring with Canada’s National Sledge Team, it’s safe to say Tyler McGregor is on the rise.

And there’s a good chance the best is yet to come.

Mitchell Garrett guards the net against Czechia at the Para Hockey Cup.

Perseverance pays off for Team Canada puck-stopper

After years of hard work and dedication to return to the ice after an ATV accident, Mitchell Garrett will don the Maple Leaf for the first time on the international stage

Shannon Coulter
|
December 05, 2023

Being a goaltender is in Mitchell Garrett’s DNA. No matter what sport he plays, he always wants to be the last line of defence.

After playing as a catcher in baseball and a goaltender in soccer growing up, the Surrey, B.C., product began playing hockey at 10 years old.

“My dad grew up as a soccer player,” Garrett says. “Telling him that I wanted to switch into hockey was not necessarily the news he wanted to hear.”

Garrett played between the pipes for 12 years, usually in house league or occasionally in rep. After high school, he continued to play recreationally with some of his minor hockey teammates.

“I remember when my accident happened, it was like a month before the new season started,” the 29-year-old says. “So that was a shock to them hearing that I wasn’t going to be able to play for them ever again.”

On July 29, 2017, Garrett was camping when he decided to take a friend’s ATV for a drive. When he didn’t return, a search party found Garrett had crashed on the side of the road.

He was airlifted to Vancouver General Hospital and diagnosed with a T4 complete spinal cord injury. Despite his prognosis, Garrett progressed quickly and completed rehabilitation within three months.

“It was a really fast process. I remember everybody telling me this is going much faster than what it’s typically supposed to,” he says. “I really wanted to make myself goal-oriented when I was in rehab because I didn’t want to be there. I just wanted to get going in my life, and I knew it was going to be a major change.”

Matteo Pellizzari (left), Mitchell Garrett and Brendon Hurst smile in their sleds on the ice during selection camp.Matteo Pellizzari (left), Mitchell Garrett and Brendon Hurst.

Throughout the entire process, hockey was always on Garrett’s mind.

“I don’t remember my injury at all. I woke up in the hospital and I’m like, ‘Where am I right now?’ [They told me I’m] in the hospital, and I was like, ‘Oh, well I have a playoff game tonight, I need to go play hockey.’”

Now paralyzed from the chest down after his injury, Garrett immediately shifted his focus to how he could get back on the ice and began researching para hockey.

“I studied [Team Canada goaltender] Dom Larocque. I watched every single interview I could find of him,” he explains. “I remember watching it three or four times over and pausing on the on-ice clips, just really analyzing his setup and trying to figure it out for myself. [He] was a huge inspiration.”

More than nine months after his accident, Garrett returned to the ice and got back in net—this time in a sled.

“It was pretty monumental for me getting back to being a goaltender. My parents were there; my dad was on the ice and my mom was watching,” Garrett recalls. “I remember that skate, I just looked like a fish out of water.

“When I got off the ice, my mom was just like, ‘Is this for you? Do you really want to do this? It looks like you’re struggling out there.’ I just told her eventually it will be smooth, and everything will be good.”

Although he was back on the ice, his new reality did present some challenges for playing para hockey. Without the ability to move anything below his chest, it provided some limitations for being a goaltender again.

“[Other goalies] have their entire core to use and they have their legs and their knees to stand up on. I remember everybody telling me how much of a disadvantage I was at, [but I] never even consider that a disadvantage for a second,” he says. “We’re still playing the same game. We’re still going after the same goal.”

Mitchell with his dad, Ken Garrett.

Garrett set his eyes on his next goal—earning a spot on Canada’s National Para Hockey Team—and got to work. After every ice time, he would look at his sled setup and make adjustments.

“I have a shed at my place and that’s like the tool shed. That’s where all the hard work off the ice goes down, just to ensure I’m in tip-top shape when I’m out there,” he says. “I was consistently tweaking my sled for the longest time; moving it up, moving it down, figuring out where my blades go.”

His home rink, the Langley Sportsplex, provided free ice time so he could practice throughout the year. On the ice, Garrett’s dad Ken joined him to be a shooter for his practices and he became the head coach of British Columbia’s para hockey team.

“I know I wouldn’t be able to do it without him,” Garrett says. “My dad has been an enormous help throughout this entire process, making sure that it’s the most enjoyable for me.”

His hard work on and off the ice began to pay off, and Garrett was invited to participate in his first selection camp with Canada’s National Para Hockey Team ahead of the 2022-23 season.

“It’s always good to have somebody involved that has experience playing the position and the game prior to their accident,” says Russ Herrington, head coach of Canada’s National Para Hockey Team. “That was the one thing that we noticed right away with Mitch was that both glove hands and his ability to track the puck, that was something that transferred over from his previous experience.”

“It didn’t really go as I planned,” Garrett says about selection camp. “To be honest, it wasn’t a great showing for me. I think maybe I was a little starstruck at the camp. [I had never] played with these caliber players and these are players who I’ve wanted to play with for so long.”

After camp concluded, Garrett took the experience to heart and got back to training even harder for his next opportunity.

“I just told myself that I’m starting to trend in the right direction and just to stay on track and continue what I was doing because I noticed that it was working for me,” Garrett says.

Corbyn Smith (left) and Mitchell Garrett celebrate after beating Czechia at the 2023 Para Hockey Cup.

When he returned to selection camp in September, his improvements were evident to the coaching staff.

“I think he’s more comfortable in a sled,” Herrington says. “I think he was a little timid [getting to the top of the crease] early on, and now we see him be a little more assertive in his positioning and challenging the shooter.”

After dreaming of making Team Canada for over six years, Garrett finally got the phone call that he would be making his international debut at the 2023 Para Hockey Cup in Quispamsis, New Brunswick.

“That’s one of the best parts of this job is delivering that type of news. We’re really excited to have him here with us,” Herrington says. “Our veterans do such a good job of celebrating opportunities like that because it wasn’t too long ago that they were donning the jersey for the first time.”

“From my family to my friends to my girlfriend, everybody has really played a part in this process,” Garrett says. “That was a really cool moment on the phone (telling my parents I made the team); you could just feel how proud [my dad] was through the phone.

“For my mom, after that first ice time with her being like ‘Is this right for you,’ and then being able to tell her that I made the team—it was a full-circle moment.”

In Quispamsis, Garrett is looking forward to putting on the Maple Leaf for the first time, playing on the international stage and hopefully inspiring more members of the paraplegic community to start playing para hockey.

“I have to hold back my tears every single time I think about it because [playing for Team Canada] is a goal that I’ve had since I was eight,” he says. “Most people consider other sports just because of my disability… I’m very excited to be changing that narrative.”

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Officials set for international duty at home

Thirty-six referees and linespersons earn assignments to Langley, Delta, Cornwall and Bridgewater

Jason La Rose
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November 01, 2022

As Hockey Canada’s fall events return for the first time since 2019, the officials are ready to hit the ice.

Thirty-six officials – 17 referees and 19 linespersons – from across the country have been selected for the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge, World Junior A Challenge and Para Hockey Cup.

“Our fall events are a great opportunity for individuals participating in our Officiating Program of Excellence,” said Dan Hanoomansingh, manager of officiating with Hockey Canada. “These officials have worked hard to sharpen their skills since their last opportunity at one of our camps. We have been tracking their progression and they have earned their opportunity to officiate these exciting events.”

The Officiating Program of Excellence (OPOE) is the pathway through which Canadian officials are selected for top national and international tournaments. The objectives of the OPOE are to provide a clear developmental pathway for aspiring elite officials, provide developmentally appropriate coaching for elite officials, prepare officials for national and international competitions, and assist Hockey Canada in making evidence-based decisions for assignments.

For more information about the Hockey Canada Officiating Program, visit HockeyCanada.ca/Officials.

World Under-17 Hockey Challenge (Langley & Delta, B.C.)

Name (Hometown) Member Role
Nick Arcan (Thornton, Ont.) Ontario Hockey Federation Linesperson
Cédric Beaudet (Bécancour, Que.)
Hockey Quebec Referee
Mathieu Boudreau (Gatineau, Que.) Hockey Quebec Referee
Sam Currie (Masstown, N.S.) Hockey Nova Scotia Referee
Tanner Doiron (Bedeque, P.E.I.) Hockey PEI Referee
Maxime Ferland (Ste-Catherine, Que.) Hockey Quebec Linesperson
Mitchell Gibbs (Coquitlam, B.C.) BC Hockey Linesperson
Antoine Huot (Mirabel, Que.) Hockey Quebec Linesperson
Connor McCracken (Chilliwack, B.C.) BC Hockey
Referee
Garrett Merrill (Bedford, N.S.) Hockey Eastern Ontario Linesperson
Harrison O'Pray (Moncton, N.B.) Hockey New Brunswick Referee
Tristan Peacock (Ayr, Ont.) Ontario Hockey Federation Linesperson
David-Daniel Pendleton (Dieppe, N.B.) Hockey New Brunswick
Linesperson
Kyle Rodgers (Waterloo, Ont.) Ontario Hockey Federation Linesperson
Matthew Scott (Toronto, Ont.) Ontario Hockey Federation
Referee
Ty Skene (Prince Albert, Sask.) Hockey Saskatchewan Referee

The officiating coaches for the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge are Dan Hanoomansingh (Vancouver, B.C.) and Kirk Wood (Stratford, Ont.).

World Junior A Challenge (Cornwall, Ont.)

Name (Hometown) Member Role
Taylor Burzminski (St. Albert, Alta.) Hockey Alberta Referee
Dominic Cadieux (Saint-Constant, Que.) Hockey Quebec Referee
Danny Emerson (Belleville, Ont.) Ontario Hockey Federation Referee
Jérémy Faucher (Cowansville, Que.)
Hockey Quebec Linesperson
Andre Grougrou (Burlington, Ont.) Ontario Hockey Federation Linesperson
Anthony Lapointe (Verdun, Que.) Hockey Quebec Linesperson
Nick Melanson (Moncton, N.B.) Hockey New Brunswick Referee
Shawn Oliver (Ottawa, Ont.) Hockey Eastern Ontario Linesperson
Tim Plamondon (Kelowna, B.C.) BC Hockey Linesperson
Alex Robichaud (Dieppe, N.B.) Hockey New Brunswick
Referee

The officiating coach for the World Junior A Challenge is Hanoomansingh.

Para Hockey Cup (Bridgewater, N.S.)

Name (Hometown) Member Role
Blaise Curry (Bedford, N.S.) Hockey Nova Scotia Referee
Dylan Dauphinee (Lunenburg, N.S.) Hockey Nova Scotia
Linesperson
Corey Hayne (Antigonish, N.S.) Hockey Nova Scotia
Referee
Nick MacIsaac (Judique, N.S.) Hockey Nova Scotia
Linesperson
Brad Murray (Bridgewater, N.S.) Hockey Nova Scotia
Linesperson
Chris Newell (Chebucto, N.S.) Hockey Nova Scotia
Referee
Ryan O'Rourke (Yarmouth, N.S.) Hockey Nova Scotia
Linesperson
Jane Ogilvie (Truro, N.S.) Hockey Nova Scotia
Linesperson
Chris Palk (Sackville, N.S.) Hockey Nova Scotia
Referee
Drake Robinson (Timberlea, N.S.) Hockey Nova Scotia
Referee

The officiating coach for the Para Hockey Cup is Paul Boese (Arnprior, Ont.)

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In My Own Words: Tyler McGregor

The captain of Canada’s National Para Hockey Team talks about his battle with cancer, and how the game provided him with an important new direction in life

December 03, 2020
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Canada takes silver at 2019 Canadian Tire Para Hockey Cup

Canadians edged by Americans in gold medal game in Paradise

NR.092.19
|
December 07, 2019

PARADISE, N.L. – Canada’s National Para Hockey Team finished with the silver medal at the 2019 Canadian Tire Para Hockey Cup after a tight 2-1 loss to the United States on Saturday night at the Paradise Double Ice Complex.

It is the seventh silver medal for the Canadians (2009, 2012, January 2016, December 2016, 2017, 2018 2019) to go along with five gold (2007, 2008, April 2011, November 2011, 2013) and one bronze (2015).

“I thought it was an amazing game. The atmosphere was electric and [Paradise] put on a tremendous event,” said Canadian captain Tyler McGregor (Forest, Ont.). “It was a physical and fast game, exactly what we’d expect out of a match-up against the U.S.

“I thought we showed a lot of resilience and a lot of persistence in battling back. We had an unreal third period, so we’re going home proud of the effort we put forth. I think the product on the ice, not only tonight but all week, was outstanding and for our sport that’s exactly what we asked for.”

The Americans struck first midway through the second period and got another six minutes into the third before Billy Bridges (Summerside, P.E.I.) cut the lead to one just over a minute later with his 189th career goal. Despite several late chances, the Canadians couldn’t find the equalizer.

Dominic Larocque (Quebec City, Que.) was terrific in the Canadian goal, finishing with 19 saves in a crowd-pleasing performance.

“This has been an amazing tournament. I never thought I would get the opportunity to represent my country and province in front of my home crowd,” Said Liam Hickey (St. John’s, N.L.). “Knowing how much work my family and friends have put into this, and to see it go off so well, I am honored that Hockey Canada could come here and we could showcase Newfoundland to the whole world.”

Russia blanks Czechs to win bronze

Russia ensured it left the Canadian Tire Para Hockey Cup with a medal for the third time in four appearances, earning a 5-0 win over the Czech Republic for bronze. Nikolai Terentev led the way with two goals for the Russians, who also won bronze in 2013 and silver in January 2016. Ilia Volkov, Airat Khamzin and Aleksei Eremin also scored, while Evgenii Plotnikov made nine saves for the shutout 

The 2020 Canadian Tire Para Hockey Cup will be played in Bridgewater, N.S.

For more information on Hockey Canada, Canada’s National Para Hockey Team and the Canadian Tire Para Hockey Cup, please visit HockeyCanada.ca, or follow through social media on Facebook, Twitter, Twitter.com/HC_Para and Twitter.com/HC_ParaCup.

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Paradise ready to host 2019 Canadian Tire Para Hockey Cup

Canada, Czech Republic, Russia and the United States are ready to face off in Newfoundland and Labrador

NR.090.19
|
November 30, 2019

PARADISE, N.L. – Paradise is set to open its doors to the world as four teams go for gold at the 2019 Canadian Tire Para Hockey Cup, Dec. 1-7.

The Paradise Double Ice Complex will welcome Canada, the Czech Republic, Russia and the United States. Canada has won the tournament, known as the World Sledge Hockey Challenge until 2017, five times, most recently in 2013, while the U.S. is looking for a sixth-consecutive gold medal.

"It is a very exciting time right now; the rink is rebranded, volunteers are ready and we can't wait to see these amazing athletes provide lasting memories for themselves and the fans,” said Don Dyke, chair of the host organizing committee. “This is an event we haven't seen before, and fans shouldn’t miss the opportunity to see the best of the best on the ice, including our own Liam Hickey playing for Team Canada."

In the past, the event has created more than $1 million in local economic impact, with the net proceeds of the event benefiting local minor and para hockey programs in Paradise and the surrounding area.

Full-event ticket packages are on sale for $69 at HockeyCanada.ca/Tickets. Packages include all six preliminary-round games, both semifinals and the bronze and gold medal games. All preliminary-round games, the semifinals and the bronze medal game will be streamed live at HockeyCanada.ca. The gold medal game will be shown live on TSN, Hockey Canada’s official broadcast partner, on Saturday, Dec. 7 at 6 p.m. AT/2 p.m. PT; check local listings for details.

For more information on Hockey Canada, Canada’s National Para Hockey Team and the Canadian Tire Para Hockey Cup, please visit HockeyCanada.ca, or follow through social media on Facebook, Twitter, Twitter.com/HC_Para and Twitter.com/HC_ParaCup.

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A new era for para

With six rookies on the roster replacing a handful of its biggest names, Canada’s National Para Hockey Team gets a new season started in London

Jason La Rose
|
December 02, 2018

Just over eight months after its heartbreaking overtime loss to the United States in the gold medal game at the Paralympics, Canada’s National Para Hockey Team gets a new season underway this week at the 2018 Canadian Tire Para Hockey Cup.

But the Team Canada that takes the ice in London will look much different than the one that came within 37.8 seconds of a gold medal in PyeongChang.

Six players from the Paralympic roster are gone, taking time away from the game to nurse injuries and explore their options outside of the game, and there are some notable names among the half-dozen.

The list includes captain Greg Westlake, top defencemen Steve Arsenault, Brad Bowden and Adam Dixon, and forwards Ben Delaney and Bryan Sholomicki; those six players combined for 13 goals and 39 points in South Korea, numbers that will not be easily replaced.

But the absences mean opportunity for six Team Canada rookies making their debuts in London, and head coach Ken Babey likes what those players will bring to the ice.

“I think we’re going to be faster, and I think we’re going to have a lot more energy because of the youth, and hopefully that bodes well for us,” Babey says. “We may be inexperienced at times, but overall we’re still the Canadian team that we have been, and over time we’re going to be stronger than ever.”

And it’s not as if the Canadians are lacking firepower or leadership. The top five scorers from the Paralympics – led by Tyler McGregor and Liam Hickey – are back, and there is plenty of veteran know-how to go around.

“I think the veterans are the key,” Babey says. “Coaches can talk and show things, but it’s really the veteran players that do it in a variety of ways, like being friends, socializing, showing it on the ice, explaining things peer-to-peer, and I think that has a more powerful impact than anything else.

“Our guys have done a really good job, and they’ve responded to that and we’ll see this week how we go. The real test is going to be when you get under pressure and get in some battles, and we’ll see how we do. I like our chances and I like the way the guys have come along.”

They have also benefitted from international experience with Canada’s National Para Hockey Development Team. All six new faces – Alexis Auclair, Rod Crane, Cody Dolan, Anton Jacobs-Webb, Micah Kovacevich and Garrett Riley – have played with the development side, and know the expectations that come with wearing the Maple Leaf.

And despite a new-look roster, those expectations haven’t changed.

“If you play hockey for Canada and your goal is anything but trying to win every single game, then you’re not a Canadian hockey player,” says Billy Bridges, who enters his 21st season with the national team as the all-time leader in games played (219), goals, (183), assists (200) and points (383). “We do appreciate that there is a process and that we do have new players, but veteran or rookie, we need to take pride in our effort.”

The 2018-19 season marks the beginning of a new four-year Paralympic cycle, with sights set directly on Beijing and the 2022 Games, so what better time to reimagine Team Canada?

There may be 1,188 days to go until the Opening Ceremony in China, but the work starts now.

“Right from the get-go, we’ve placed an emphasis on the next four years of developing para hockey in Canada and that starts with this team here,” says Bridges. “It’s special to feed off the energy [of the rookies] and redefine the culture on our team. The guys who aren’t with us this year are impossible shoes to fill, and I hope these guys realize that now is the time for them to establish their own identity as players.”

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Canada’s National Para Hockey Team coming to London, Ont., for Canadian Tire Para Hockey Cup

Schedule and ticket packages now available

NR.088.18
|
November 13, 2018

LONDON, Ont. – Looking to build off its Paralympic silver medal, Canada’s National Para Hockey Team will be in London, Ont., for the Canadian Tire Para Hockey Cup, Dec. 2-8, 2018.

The Western Fair Sports Centre will host Canada, Korea and the United States – the three para hockey medallists from the 2018 Paralympic Winter Games - as they compete for the gold medal in a tournament that dates back to 2007 as the World Sledge Hockey Challenge. The Canadian Tire Para Hockey Cup is one in a series of international tournaments that showcase the best of the world’s para hockey athletes.

The schedule for the tournament includes six preliminary-round games from Dec. 2-7, and the gold medal game on Saturday, Dec. 8. Fans will be able to take advantage of the best pricing option with the full-tournament package, which include all seven games for only $45.

“London is very fortunate to have been chosen to hold the prestigious Canadian Tire Para Hockey Cup,” said Todd Sargeant, chair of the local host organizing committee. “The sport has grown since London first hosted in 2011 and the games will be even faster, more fierce and action-packed than before. We believe that this event will increase para hockey interest and the legacy from the tournament will improve the sport locally for the London Blizzard.”

“These athletes are incredibly dedicated to their team and to their sport, and it shows when they get on the ice,” said Scott Smith, president and COO of Hockey Canada. “This tournament is not only a way to showcase the very best in para hockey, but a way to let Canadians see how much the sport positively impacts a community.”

“We are thrilled to have been selected to host the newly-rebranded Canadian Tire Para Hockey Cup in London this December,” said Tony Foresi, chair of the Ontario Hockey Federation Board of Directors. “The event will positively impact the community well beyond the games on the ice with revenue used to increase community awareness and make the sport accessible to as many individuals as possible. “It’s absolutely outstanding how the residents of London and surrounding area come out to support these great events, knowing well that they are aiding in the opportunity for youth to participate in the great game of hockey.”

All preliminary games will be streamed live at HockeyCanada.ca, while the gold medal game will be shown on TSN/RDS, Hockey Canada’s official broadcast partners.

For more information on Hockey Canada and Canada’s National Para Hockey Team, please visit HockeyCanada.ca or follow along via social media on Facebook and Twitter.com/HC_ParaCup.

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© Matthew Murnaghan / Hockey Canada Images

Canadian Tire Para Hockey Cup tickets now available

Rebranded event featuring top para hockey nations comes to London, Ont., in December

NR.073.18
|
September 26, 2018

LONDON, Ont. – The newly-rebranded Canadian Tire Para Hockey Cup is coming to London this December, and fans can now take advantage of early-bird pricing to secure their tickets and sign up to volunteer.

With all three medallists from the 2018 Paralympic Winter Games ready to take to the ice at the Western Fair Sports Centre beginning Dec. 2, the local organizing committee is gearing up to welcome fans to an exciting display of the best in international para hockey – including a much-anticipated Canada-U.S. rematch.

“We’re thrilled to be hosting this event once again,” said Todd Sargeant, chair of the 2018 Canadian Tire Para Hockey Cup host organizing committee and the London Blizzard Sledge Hockey Club. “London has always supported para hockey and Hockey Canada, and we expect no different this time around. Para hockey is a very exciting game, and we hope the community will come out to support these athletes and provide Team Canada with the home-ice advantage it deserves.”

Sargeant and the local host organizing committee have unveiled the ticket pricing and packages available for the 2018 Canadian Tire Para Hockey Cup. Beginning today, hockey fans can take advantage of early-bird pricing starting at only $47, which includes all 10 games being played as part of the tournament. Beginning Nov. 1, the full ticket package jumps to $62.50. Ticket packages can be purchased at HockeyCanada.ca/Tickets or by calling 1.866.455.2849, as well as in-person at the Budweiser Gardens box office.

Two members of Canada’s recently-named 2018-19 National Para Hockey Team – James Dunn and Tyler McGregor – have close ties to London; Dunn and McGregor, from nearby Wallacetown and Forest, respectively, first met while being treated for cancer in London. The duo was part of Canada’s silver medal-winning team at the 2018 Paralympic Winter Games in PyeongChang last March.

Volunteer opportunities available

The host organizing committee is also looking for volunteers to join them to make this world-class event a success for the London area. Volunteer roles in transportation, team services, media services, and fan experience, just to name a few, are currently being filled; anyone over the age of 18 interested in volunteering can apply online.

London has a history of hosting Hockey Canada events, including this very tournament in 2011 where Canada won gold, as well as the 2008 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge – not to mention a pre-tournament game last December featuring the Canadian squad that eventually became 2018 IIHF World Junior Championship gold-medallists.

As with other Hockey Canada events, London will benefit from the net profits of all ticket sales to the 2018 Canadian Tire Para Hockey Cup, which remain in the community as part of the event legacy to help grow the game. Historically, the tournament has brought an economic injection of more than $1 million to the host community.

The full event schedule and final teams will be announced shortly.

To learn more about Hockey Canada, Canada’s National Para Hockey Team, and the Canadian Tire Para Hockey Cup, please visit HockeyCanada.ca or follow on TwitterFacebook and Instagram.

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© Andrew Stephenson/Hockey Canada Images

Hockey Canada introduces Canadian Tire Para Hockey Cup

Rebranded event featuring top para hockey nations comes to London, Ont., in December 2018

NR.046.18
|
June 18, 2018

LONDON, Ont. – Hockey Canada will be back in London this December with world-class hockey at the Canadian Tire Para Hockey Cup, Dec. 1-8, 2018, at the Western Fair Sports Centre.

In London as part of the Hockey Canada Foundation Gala & Golf, Hockey Canada announced that long-standing partner Canadian Tire has signed on as the title sponsor of what was formerly known as the World Sledge Hockey Challenge – an international para hockey event that brings together Canada’s National Para Hockey Team and three top para hockey nations for a week-long tournament. The newly-branded Canadian Tire Para Hockey Cup will debut in London the first week of December.

“Playing on home ice is always exciting, but to know we’ll be here in London, so close to my hometown of Wallacetown, is very special,” said James Dunn, the 17-year-old Paralympic silver-medallist who recorded two goals and five assists over five games at the 2018 Paralympic Winter Games in PyeongChang last March. “This event is one of the most prestigious on the international para hockey calendar, and to have such a great partner as Canadian Tire on board will continue to elevate the event for our team, and for the other nations invited to take part. My teammates and I are looking forward to having London and area hockey fans come out to cheer us on this December.”

London has a history of hosting Hockey Canada events, including this very tournament in 2011 where Canada won gold, as well as the 2008 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge – not to mention a pre-tournament game last December featuring the Canadian squad that eventually became the 2018 IIHF World Junior Championship gold-medallist.

“We are so pleased to host yet another Hockey Canada event with the Canadian Tire Para Hockey Cup,” said Mayor Matt Brown. “We are a sports city through and through, and this once again proves that. I am very much looking forward to this event. I know our community will support it in so many ways.”

“Canadian Tire is passionate about hockey, from kids of all abilities getting on the ice for the first time, to our national team playing for gold, and all the families and fans in between,” said Jeffrey Orridge, senior vice-president, community and partnerships, Canadian Tire Corporation. “We are proud to help bring the Canadian Tire Para Hockey Cup to London, and look forward to cheering on Team Canada in December.”

As with other Hockey Canada events, London will benefit from the net profits of all ticket sales to the 2018 Canadian Tire Para Hockey Cup, which remain in the community as part of the event legacy to help grow the game. Historically, the tournament has brought an economic injection of more than $1 million to the host community.

“Para hockey is growing across the country, and we’re proud of the growth and uptake we’ve seen here in the London community,” said Todd Sargeant, chair of the local host organizing committee of the 2018 Canadian Tire Para Hockey Cup. “We know that London will be out in full force to support this event – from sponsors, to volunteers, to fans in the stands. We’re looking forward to bringing a taste of the exciting action we all got to enjoy from these last Paralympic Games to our hockey community of London.”

To learn more about Hockey Canada, Canada’s National Para Hockey Team, and the Canadian Tire Para Hockey Cup, please visit HockeyCanada.ca or follow on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

About Canadian Tire
Canadian Tire Corporation, Limited, (TSX:CTC.A) (TSX:CTC) or "CTC," is a family of businesses that includes a retail segment, a financial services division and CT REIT. Our retail business is led by Canadian Tire, which was founded in 1922 and provides Canadians with products for life in Canada across its Living, Playing, Fixing, Automotive and Seasonal & Gardening divisions. PartSource and Gas+ are key parts of the Canadian Tire network. The retail segment also includes Mark's, a leading source for casual and industrial wear, and FGL Sports (Sport Chek, Hockey Experts, Sports Experts, National Sports, Intersport, Pro Hockey Life and Atmosphere), which offers the best active wear brands. The approximately 1,700 retail and gasoline outlets are supported and strengthened by our Financial Services division and the tens of thousands of people employed across the Company and its local dealers, franchisees and petroleum retailers. For more information, visit Corp.CanadianTire.ca.

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Canada takes silver at World Sledge Hockey Challenge

Hosts drop gold medal game to United States; Korea wins bronze medal

NR.107.17
|
December 10, 2017

CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. – Canada’s National Sledge Team finished with silver at the 2017 World Sledge Hockey Challenge after a 3-2 loss to the United States in the gold medal game Saturday night.

In the 11-year history of the tournament, Canada has now won five gold medals, five silver and one bronze.

“Our guys made a valiant effort. Any chances we had, we either missed or [U.S. goaltender Steve] Cash shut us down,” said Team Canada head coach, Ken Babey (Saskatoon, Sask.). “We just got off to a flat start and turned too many pucks over early in the game; it’s a tough thing to do when you’re playing a U.S. team that has good speed and fire power and that was the turning point.”

The United States had taken a three-goal lead before Adam Dixon (Midland, Ont.) connected with Tyler McGregor (Forest, Ont.) to capitalize on a two-man advantage and put Canada on the board midway through the second period.

Liam Hickey (St. John’s, N.L.) added a second Canadian goal off a McGregor set-up with 10 minutes to go in the third to aid in the comeback attempt. Dominic Larocque (Quebec City, Que.) finished with 11 saves in the Canadian goal.

“Anytime you put yourselves down three it’s tough to get back, especially against a team like that,” McGregor said. “We showed a bit of resilience trying to come back. We had a good third, but trying to come from behind the eight-ball like that is pretty tough. It’s frustrating because we know we’re better than that. We certainly have a lot of motivation to get as good as we can and continue building for Korea [and the Paralympic Winter Games].”

Earlier in the day, Korea doubled up Italy 6-3 in the bronze medal game, medalling for the second time in three years.

The four-team tournament provided edge-of-your-seat action for fans taking in 10 games over five days at MacLauchlan Arena. Team Canada immersed itself in the community with local school presentations, visiting the seniors’ active living centre, as well as meet-and-greets with minor hockey teams.

More than 2,800 school kids packed the arena throughout the week to cheer on the athletes through the local school progam. The World Sledge Hockey Challenge will also leave a lasting legacy in the area as proceeds from the event will go back into the community to be re-invested into the growth of sledge hockey.

The World Sledge Hockey Challenge is the latest stop on Team Canada’s road to PyeongChang and the 2018 Paralympics. The tournament follows the three-game series against Korea in Gangneung, South Korea last month. Action continues in February with a two-game series against the United States ahead of the Games.

For more information on the Hockey Canada and Canada’s sledge hockey programs, visit HockeyCanada.ca and follow along via social media at Facebook and Twitter.

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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]

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