Canada routs Sweden in sledge hockey at Winter Paralympics
Saturday, March 8, 2014
Earlier today, in the second game of sledge hockey play at the 2014 Winter Paralympics in Sochi, Russia, top-seeded Canada routed Sweden by a score of 10–1. Anthony Gale, Adam Dickson, and Dominic Larocque led their team in scoring with two goals a piece.
Canada dominated possession in the first period, and ended with four goals on eleven shots. With the puck rarely in the Canadian third, Sweden managed only one shot on goal in the first. Billy Bridges scored first for Canada, with Ben Delaney scoring Canada's second, Adam Gale scoring Canada's third and Dominic Larocque scoring Canada's fourth goal in the first period.
Sweden came out with more energy in the second period, managing to get the puck more into the Canadian third of the rink but finished the period with only two shots on goal. Canada on the other hand managed to get eleven shots on goal in the second period, scoring three times.
Kenth Jonsson came into goal to start the third period for Sweden, with Ulf Nilsson leaving. The third period involved a lot of Canadian puck possession in the Swedish third. When Sweden was able to make a run down the ice with the puck, the crowds cheered loudly. Despite the puck possession issues, Sweden scored first in the third with a goal by Per Kasperi off an assist from Niklas Ingvarsson and Niklas Rakos with around 9:38 left in the third period.
Five minutes left, Canada went on to score a quick succession of goals, the first coming with 4:48 left in the third and during a power play. Adam Dickson scored with an assist from Brad Bowden and Kevin Rempel. Twenty seconds later, Dominic Larocque scored with an assist from Rempel. With 3:30 left in the game, Canada went up 10–1 with a goal scored by Anthony Gale. The Canadian fans were on their feet and waving their flags. Neither team was able to score in the remaining time.
Canada had a much deeper bench than Sweden, and were able to execute multiple complete line changes. In contest, Sweden had only three available players on their bench, with line changes consisting of changing only one player. Canada's official roster has 15 players and 2 goalkeepers, while Sweden's has 12 and 2 goalkeepers.
Canada finished fourth at the, a contest played on home soil, with eight members of their current seventeen member roster returning to compete in the 2014 Games. Despite the depth of experience for Canada, they were a younger squad than Sweden with an average age of 26 to Sweden's 33.
In sledge hockey, players use two hockey sticks, one in each hand. One end of the hockey stick is very hard and used to propel the player down the ice. The other side looks like a smaller version of a traditional ice hockey stick and is used to hit the puck. Players compete while sitting in a sledge, which has two blades at the back that can be no longer than a third of the length of the sledge. The height of the sledge off the ice is high enough that the puck may pass under it.