Indian Trail, N.C.
CANADA DOWNED IN PARA SERIES FINALE
JASON LA ROSE
INDIAN TRAIL, N.C. – Tyler McGregor (Forest, Ont.) scored for the second time in as many days, but Canada’s National Para Hockey Team dropped a 4-1 decision to the United States on Saturday in the finale of the rivals’ brief two-game series.
The teams finished with a win apiece following the Canadians’ 4-3 victory on Friday afternoon.
With Canada down four goals entering the third period, McGregor gave his team a brief glimmer of hope just past the four-minute mark, taking a short pass from Dominic Cozzolino (Mississauga, Ont.) and going to left hand to beat U.S. goaltender Steve Cash.
McGregor and Cozzolino finished as the leading Canadian scorers in the series; McGregor had two goals and an assist, while Cozzolino chipped in with a goal and two helpers.
The American power play opened the scoring just shy of the six-minute mark; Josh Pauls parked himself at the top of the crease and redirected a Brody Roybal feed underneath Canadian netminder Corbin Watson (Kingsville, Ont.).
Canada found itself on a two-man advantage just minutes later, but instead it was Roybal who had the best chance, shooting wide on a shorthanded breakaway.
Josh Hargis doubled the U.S. lead before the end of the first period, burying a pretty set-up from Pauls.
The Americans continued to pull away in the second, tacking on two more goals; Rico Roman was first, going upstairs on Watson at 3:10, and Declan Farmer finished a give-and-go with Roybal in the final minute to make it a 4-0 game after 30 minutes.
That was all for Watson, who was replaced by Dominic Larocque (Quebec City, Que.) to start the third period. Larocque stopped all three shots he faced in the final frame.
Canada finished on the short end of a 16-9 shot total.
The next action for both teams comes at the 2019 IPC World Para Hockey Championship, which begins April 27 in Ostrava, Czech Republic.