James Gemmell practices at West Fraser Centre while in Quesnel prior to the Paralymic Games. Melanie Law photo

Canada opens sledge hockey competition with 17-0 romp over Sweden

2018 Paralympic Winter Games underway in Gangneung, South Korea

Quesnel resident and Canada’s Para Hockey Team defenceman James Gemmell opened the 2018 Paralympic Winter Games with a 17-0 victory over Sweden in Gangneung, South Korea.

With the 17 goals, Canada has now scored 991 since Hockey Canada took over the sledge hockey program in 2004.

The offensive barrage was sparked by Tyler McGregor’s (Forest, Ont.) four goals, including the first of the game, which was his 100th career point.

Bryan Sholomicki (Winnipeg, Man.) added a hat trick, while 12 different skaters registered at least one point in the win.

• Rob Armstrong (Erin, Ont.), Dominic Cozzolino (Mississauga, Ont.), Liam Hickey (St. John’s, N.L.) and Corbyn Smith all scored in their Paralympic Winter Games debut.

• Billy Bridges (Summerside, P.E.I.), Ben Delaney (Ottawa, Ont.), Adam Dixon (Midland, Ont.) and captain Greg Westlake (Toronto, Ont.) added Canada’s other goals.

• Dixon also led the way with five assists in the game, while Corbin Watson (Kingsville, Ont.) and Dominic Larocque (Quebec City) shared net-minding duties.

Coach Ken Babey was happy with his team’s performance

“A game like tonight, you like to see everyone chip in and be involved offensively.

“It was a balanced team effort and I like the way the guys were unselfish, with almost every goal having two assists with it. The scoring went across the lines, the defense even chipped in a bit.

“It’s important to stay with our routines, stay as a team and share the puck.”

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