McGREGOR GETS GAME-WINNER AS CANADA GOES TO 2-0
BUFFALO, N.Y. – Greg Westlake (Oakville, Ont.) led the way with a goal and an assist, but it was Tyler McGregor’s (Forest, Ont.) goal with 5:33 remaining in the third period that was the game-winner, as Canada’s National Sledge Team defeated the United States 2-1 on Wednesday evening at the 2016 IPC Pan-Pacific Championship.
Canada killed off nearly two full minutes of a five-on-three American power play earlier in the period. The momentum from that paid off four minutes later. McGregor brought the puck in from the side boards and beat goaltender Steve Cash with a wrist shot from the bottom of the face-off circle.
Billy Bridges (Summerside, P.E.I.) and Brad Bowden (Orton, Ont.) each picked up an assist in the game.
Corbin Watson (Kingsville, Ont.) made 16 saves in picking up his second win in as many starts.
With the win Canada moved to the top of the leaderboard with a perfect 2-0 record.
There’s never any love lost when Canada and the United States play a hockey game, and tonight was no exception. During warmups the teams exchanged a few shoves at centre ice, setting the tone for a high-paced, high-intensity game.
It was the Americans getting on the board first, when they took advantage of a penalty call on Adam Dixon (Midland, Ont.). Declan Farmer picked the puck up in the high slot and went in uncontested to the face-off circle, where he beat Watson high while getting knocked over.
A late first-period power play allowed Canada to tie things up. After Dixon held the puck in near the blue line, Westlake and Bridges applied pressure down low, with Westlake finding the back of the net.
It was a scoreless second, but not for lack of chances. McGregor just missed converting on a centering pass from Bridges early. And Watson was solid in stopping a close range shot on a U.S. power play midway through the period and again later in turning aside a two-on-one.
In the third, a late interference call on McGregor gave the U.S. one last chance to equalize, but the Canadian penalty kill was up to the task, not allowing a shot on net.
Canada concludes the preliminary round on Friday, when it meets Team Pan-Pacific at 3 p.m. ET/12 p.m. PT.