Canada advances to World Sledge Hockey final
CALGARY - Greg Westlake had a five-point outing to lead Canada to a convincing 10-0 semifinal win over Japan Thursday at the World Sledge Hockey Challenge.
The native of Oakville, Ont., scored a pair of short-handed goals and added three assists during the onslaught at the Markin McPhail Centre.
Westlake's linemates Dominic Larocque and Brad Bowden both had two goals and one assist during the victory, which earned Canada a spot in Saturday's gold-medal game against the United States. The U.S. downed Norway 4-1 earlier Thursday.
Defenceman Adam Dixon had a goal and three assists against Japan, while Billy Bridges scored once and set up two others. Kevin Rempel had a goal and an assist, while Tyler McGregor also scored.
Canadian goalie Benoit St-Amand made five saves to record the shutout.
Mitsuru Nagase was much busier at the other end of the ice as he stopped 26 of 36 shots he faced in the Japanese net.
Westlake opened the scoring at 8:12 of the opening period while Canadian forward Kieran Block was serving a holding penalty. Just 16 seconds later, Larocque counted another short-handed goal before Bridges scored late in the first to put Canada up 3-0.
Dixon, Rempel and Larocque scored early in the second period before Bowden had back-to-back goals to extend Canada's lead to 8-0.
After Bowden's second goal at 10:01 of the middle period, Westlake scored his second of the game just 40 seconds later. Both goals were scored while Canada was shorthanded.
McGregor scored with one minute to go in the second, before the teams battled to a scoreless third period.
Earlier in the day, Daniel McCoy had two goals for the Americans in their win against Norway, while Josh Pauls and Kevin McKee also scored. Jan Roger Klakegg counted the lone goal for Norway, which will battle for bronze against Japan on Saturday.
Notes: Canada won gold with a 4-1 win over the U.S. at the last World Sledge Hockey Challenge in November of 2011. … Canada also captured the April 2011 edition of the World Sledge Hockey Challenge in London, Ont., with an 8-0 win in the final over Norway. … The U.S. beat Canada 2-1 in the semifinals of the 2012 International Paralympic Committee Ice Sledge Hockey World Championships in Hamar, Norway last April and then went on to win the gold medal with a 5-1 victory over Japan in the final.
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