Canada looking for revenge at world championships

Canadian Paralympic Committee

April 25, 2019

''What I like the most is this group never quits''


OTTAWA – Another chapter is about to unfold in one of Para sport’s greatest rivalries.

Canada and the United States are expected to battle once again for supremacy at the eight-country World Para Ice Hockey Championships set for April 27 to May 4 in Ostrava, Czech Republic. 

Canada is the defending world champion. USA is the reigning Paralympic Games champion.

‘’I don’t think we like each other very much,’’ said Canadian forward Dominic Cozzolino about Canada-U.S. relations in the sport. ‘’Being Canadian, in hockey we want gold and we won’t strive for anything less.’’

Canada is icing a 17-member squad for the worlds. There are 12 returnees from PyeongChang last year and 12 as well from the 2017 world champion team. Among those back is star forward and four-time Paralympian Greg Westlake who rejoined the team mid-season after contemplating retirement. He is Canada’s third all-time leading scorer.

“Greg has come in late but he performed well at the last training and he had a good series against the USA last month,” said Canada’s head coach Ken Babey. ‘’He’s a great player and he brings us a lot of experience which is important for us.’’

Babey is elated with this year’s team which is young and loaded with talent that will likely keep Canada at or near the top for many more years. After a tough Canadian Tire Para Hockey Cup in December, where the home team lost 5-4 to the USA in the final, the Canadians looked more polished in a two-game series against the Americans last month.

‘’I’ve seen that all the hard work our guys have done in terms of their 24/7 focus has paid off,’’ Babey said. ‘’In our series against the Americans, our fitness held up well in high pace and physical games. We are right there with the Americans. 

‘’We’re actually a faster team now with an impressive skill set. But what I like the most is this group never quits. It’s a team with a lot character.’’

The world championships has a different format this year. The stronger teams are in Division A with the top two finishers advancing directly to the semifinals. Canada’s first preliminary round game is Saturday against the Americans.

‘’We are going to hit the ground running,’’ said defenceman Rob Armstrong. ‘’ We want to compete our hardest and win the gold for Canada. Leading into it we have to be physically and mentally prepared. Just ready to go.’’

Cozzolino admits the biggest motivating factor may be last year’s 2-1 loss to the Americans in the final at the Paralympic Winter Games.

‘’That loss will always sting until we have the gold medal victory at the Paralympics,’’ he said. ‘’It’s something that motivates me day-in and day-out to get in the gym and get on the ice and train harder. I think all of my teammates use that as motivation right now.’’

Canada’s games at the 2019 World Para Ice Hockey Championships will be available as live streams with English commentary via the free CBC Gem streaming service and the CPC Facebook page, and via the Radio-Canada Sports app and

For more information:
Official Event Website:
Team Canada Website:
Broadcast Schedule:


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