OSTRAVA – It didn’t take long for Canada to take control of its semifinal duel with South Korea on Friday.
After posting a 4-0 finish over the Koreans in preliminary play a few days earlier at the 2019 World Para Ice Hockey Championships, Canada turned its game up a few notches and held a similar four-goal advantage just 15 minutes into the semifinal.
Playing for a spot in the gold-medal game, Canada ultimately secured a 10-0 victory at the Ostravar Arena in Ostrava, Czech Republic.
Liam Hickey opened the scoring for Canada with a ripping shot off a pass from goaltender Dominic Larocque, who earned the shutout. The rising star would lead the way for Canada with four total goals in the game to go alongside one assist.
Captain Tyler McGregor added four points of his own – two goals and two assists – and was named the team’s player of the game. He currently sits second in overall scoring at the tournament with 12 points, followed closely behind by Hickey with 11.
Billy Bridges, Zach Lavin, Dominic Cozzolino, and Rob Armstrong each added a goal and an assist each, while Greg Westlake (two assists) and Tyrone Henry (one assist) also were on the scoresheet.
“The team has really progressed beautifully," said head coach Ken Babey. "We’ve improved in all areas of our game this week. We’re going to keep doing things like we’ve done all week. Get back tonight, get some good rest, go over the game, and clean up any areas that we need to clean up, and continue to focus on the positive strengths ahead of the game tomorrow.”
Canada now has a chance to defend the world title it won two years ago. The squad will take on the USA on Saturday at 10:30 a.m. ET. The bronze medal game, featuring South Korea and the Czech Republic, will run just prior at 7 a.m. ET.
“It’s big for us to be able to defend our world championship from 2017," said Larocque. "I believe we are ready; we have a lot of young guys on our team who are just as prepared, who are motivated and ready to give 110% for tomorrow. It’s their first world championship, there is a lot of energy and excitement from the crowd, and it’s going to be a great game for us tomorrow.”