Canada goes perfect in preliminary round, awaits winner of Czechs and ROC in semifinal
OSTRAVA, Czech Republic – Zach Lavin (Essex, Ont.) and Tyler McGregor (Forest, Ont.) each had a hat trick, while Billy Bridges (Summerside, P.E.I.) added four assists leading Canada to a big 10-0 win over Czech Republic and a perfect 3-0 record in the preliminary round at the 2021 IPC World Para Hockey Championship.
With the win, Canada is comfortably into the semifinals but has also earned a berth to the 2022 Paralympic Winter Games.
Canada got on the board just under two minutes into the opening frame when the top line of Lavin, Bridges and McGregor broke into the Czech zone with Lavin in the lead. He sent a no-look pass to Bridges, who dished to McGregor alone in the slot for the easy finish. Just over four minutes later, Canada was on the board again, with Rod Crane (Heathcote, Ont.) waiting on the doorstep to pick up a rebound for his first of the tournament.
McGregor would add a second of the period while the teams were battling four-on-four, off another great feed from Bridges. Lavin would round out the scoring in the first, flying down the centre of the ice on a seeing-eye pass from Liam Hickey (St. John’s, N.L.).
Scoring in the second came fast and furious. Crane opened the floodgates just over 30 seconds into the middle frame with his second of the game. Lavin and McGregor connected on the power play 36 seconds later to put the Canadians ahead 6-0.
A pair of para worlds rookies combined for the next goal, with Branden Sison (Edmonton, Alta.) and Anton Jacobs-Webb (Gatineau, Que.) in tight on a two-on-one. Sison made a brilliant pass through a defender and Jacobs-Webb finished the play, earning a first Team Canada point and goal respectively.
McGregor completed his second hat trick of the tournament just over a minute and a half later, with Lavin finishing his three-spot 18 seconds after that. McGregor would finish with five points (three goals, two assists) to lead the Canadians in scoring.
The third period saw only one goal, as Corbyn Smith (Monton, Ont.) rounded out the scoring for the Canadians to finish the game 10-0 over the Czech Republic.
Adam Kingsmill (Smithers, B.C.) in his first-ever start for Team Canada, made four saves for the shutout.
Canada is off until the semifinals on Friday but will be keenly interested in the quarterfinals tomorrow, as it will face the winner of Czech Republic and ROC. Puck drop on Friday is 11 a.m. ET/8 a.m. PT.