Strong start

Cana­di­ans open world sledge hockey chal­lenge with 5-1 win over Rus­sia

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - SPORTS - THE CANA­DIAN PRESS

The Cana­di­ans went into their first game at the world sledge hockey chal­lenge on Sun­day with a plan in mind — at­tack early.

They did just that, scor­ing three times in the first pe­riod en route to a 5-1 pre­lim­i­nary-round vic­tory over Rus­sia in front of a home crowd at the Lunen­burg County Life­style Cen­tre.

“We al­ways like to get off to a good start,” said Canada’s head coach Ken Babey. “Play­ing a very highly skilled, phys­i­cally strong team like Rus­sia, we wanted to get a jump on them and have them play catch up and it went our way be­cause our guys stuck to a struc­ture.

“A cou­ple times in the se­cond pe­riod we got off our game, they had some chances but they’re go­ing to have that, they’re a good team.”

Cap­tain Greg West­lake had a power-play goal and an as­sist, open­ing the scor­ing 41 sec­onds in.

Rob Arm­strong and Tyler McGre­gor, while short­handed, added a goal and a helper apiece for the Cana­di­ans (1-0) and Sum­mer­side na­tive Billy Bridges and Adam Dixon rounded out the at­tack.

“We’re play­ing one of our na­tional ri­vals and the guys were re­ally ex­cited to play in Bridgewater against Rus­sia,” Babey said. “We got off to a good start, scor­ing a cou­ple goals off the get-go and that gave us some en­ergy and tempo to carry on. Rus­sia’s a good team and they bat­tled back hard but our guys stayed with it the rest of the game.

“Corbin Wat­son made some big saves in the se­cond pe­riod that al­lowed us to pre­serve the vic­tory.”

Niko­lai Ter­entev had the lone goal for Rus­sia (0-1), spoil­ing Wat­son’s shutout bid 7:59 into the third pe­riod.

The Cana­dian goal­tender stopped 7-of-8 shots for the win.

Rus­sia’s Mikhail Ivanov al­lowed four goals on 10 shots through 10:09. Ev­genii Plot­nikov stopped 6-of-7 shots the rest of the way. Canada was 3-for-3 on the power play while the Rus­sians failed to score on five chances with the man ad­van­tage.

The Cana­di­ans play South Korea in the four-team tour­na­ment on to­day while Rus­sia plays the United States. The U.S. won gold at last year’s tour­na­ment in Leduc, Alta., beat­ing Rus­sia in the fi­nal. Canada topped Korea for bronze.


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