CANADA BEATS HOSTS, WINS SLEDGE GOLD IN TURIN
JASON LA ROSE
TURIN, Italy – Tyler McGregor (Forest, Ont.) capped a spectacular tournament with his second hat trick in as many games, pushing Canada’s National Sledge Team past host Italy 7-1 in the gold medal game Saturday at the International Ice Sledge Hockey Tournament.
The Canadians rolled through the tournament, winning all five games and outscoring its opponents 38-2.
"I like the way that we came together as a team throughout the week,” Canadian captain Greg Westlake (Oakville, Ont.) said after the game. “It was a lot of fun to see some players score their first goals, and for our team to get the taste of winning again. We are looking forward to competing in the World Sledge Hockey Challenge in Bridgewater [starting Jan. 18].
McGregor was dominant offensively; the Canadian forward had at least two points in all five games, and finished with a tournament-leading 19 (10 goals, nine assists), getting in on half the Canadian goals.
On Saturday, he had the lone goal in the first period, and got the scoring started in the decisive second.
After McGregor made it 2-0 just 1:51 into the middle frame, Westlake scored twice in less than three minutes – the first one shorthanded – and Bryan Sholomicki (Winnipeg, Man.) netted his second in as many games to put the Canadians in control after 30 minutes, up 5-0.
Gianluigi Rosa spoiled the Canadian shutout bid 2:53 into the third period, but McGregor finished his hat trick just 44 seconds after that and Brad Bowden (Orton, Ont.) capped the scoring with 2:50 left.
"I am very proud of our team,” said Canadian head coach Ken Babey. “We stuck to the game plan, which included playing with structure and discipline. We met our goals of winning gold, and going undefeated through the tournament."
Dominic Cozzolino (Mississauga, Ont.) and James Gemmell (Quesnel, B.C.) added two assists each to the offensive cause.
Corbin Watson got the start in the Canadian goal, stopping everything he faced in the first period before giving way to Dominic Larocque, who picked up his third win of the tournament.