MCGREGOR SCORES FOUR, CANADA BLANKS SWEDEN IN PARALYMPIC OPENER
JASON LA ROSE
GANGNEUNG, South Korea - Tyler McGregor (Forest, Ont.) scored four goals and added two assists, pacing Canada's Paralympic Hockey Team to a convincing 17-0 win over Sweden in its opener Saturday at the 2018 Paralympic Winter Games.
The 17 goals are tied for the second-most scored by Canada since Hockey Canada took over the sledge hockey program in 2004. The Canadians also scored 17 against the Swedes at the IPC World Para Hockey Championship in Gangneung last spring. (The record is 18 in a win over Japan in 2010.)
McGregor was just one of a number of Canadians who had big days offensively - Bryan Sholomicki (Winnipeg, Man.) had a hat trick of his own along with two assists, Adam Dixon (Midland, Ont.) had a goal and five helpers, and Liam Hickey (St. John's, N.L.) and Rob Armstrong (Erin, Ont.) finished with two goals and three assists apiece.
Canada scored early and often in the first period, converting the touchdown before the end of the opening frame.
McGregor got it started with a power-play goal just 1:52 in, he and Sholomicki alternated goals to put Canada up 4-0 before the six-minute mark, and McGregor finished his hat trick with a long shot through traffic at 9:20 to make it 5-0.
Dixon danced in off the blue-line and went low with the left hand at 11:13, and Dominic Cozzolino (Mississauga, Ont.) found a loose puck in the slot just 18 seconds after that to send Canada to the dressing room up by seven.
Hickey led the way in the second period, scoring a pair of goals just 60 seconds apart that extended the lead to 11-0 after Ben Delaney (Ottawa, Ont.) and Corbyn Smith (Monkton, Ont.) had netted markers early in the middle stanza.
Armstrong got his first goal late in the second, driving to the net and wiring a short-side shot up and over Swedish netminder Andreas Nejman to get Canada to an even dozen after 30 minutes.
Billy Bridges (Summerside, P.E.I.) got the 13th goal on an absolute rocket early in the third period before Armstrong scored his second, Sholomicki got his third and McGregor potted his fourth, all in a span of 3:43 to make it 16-0.
Greg Westlake (Oakville, Ont.) finished off a pretty under-the-sled pass from McGregor with 17.7 seconds remaining to provide the final margin of victory for the Canadians.
Corbin Watson (Kingsville, Ont.) and Dominic Larocque (Quebec City, Que.) stopped one shot each to share the shutout for Canada, which finished with a massive 45-2 advantage in shots on goal.
The Canadians are right back to action Sunday (6 a.m. ET/3 a.m. PT), taking on Italy.