Canada blanked by U.S. to close out preliminary round at Para Hockey Cup

Canada’s national Para hockey team was shut out by the United States in the final preliminary-round game at the 2023 Para Hockey Cup on Wednesday, falling 5-0 in Quispamsis, N.B.

Paralympic star Declan Farmer scored four goals, including a natural hat trick, as the dominant Americans outshot Canada 21-9 in the battle of unbeatens.

Jen Lee posted his second shutout of the tournament, while Adam Kingsmill made 15 saves for Canada.

Farmer, a three-time Paralympic champion, opened the scoring in the first period after crashing the net and batting home a rebound of Josh Misiewicz’s shot. He added his second tally late in the frame, while Lee made several key stops to maintain the lead.

Farmer completed the hat trick on the power play in the second period, firing a shot top shelf after Canada’s Adam Dixon was called for teeing. The offensive juggernaut also scored a short-handed goal late in the third period with an empty-netter from long range.

Jack Wallace, who assisted Farmer’s third goal, closed out the scoring with 1:23 left at the qplex.

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“We have to take the positives out of the game tonight,” Canada head coach Russ Herrington said in a release. “When you play a team like the United States and have quality chances like we did tonight, you have to make them count.

“It makes you feel good about yourself and puts a shred of doubt in the opposition. Unfortunately for us, we were not able to find the back of the net in those situations.”

The semifinals are scheduled for Friday, with Canada (2-1) set to face China (1-2) at 6 p.m. ET. The undefeated U.S. will take on the winless Czech Republic at 2 p.m. ET.

China beat the Czech Republic 4-1 earlier on Wednesday for its first-ever Para Hockey Cup win.

Canada was riding momentum after lopsided wins over the Chinese and Czechs at the four-team tournament, but Wednesday’s result was an all-too-familiar one.

The U.S. has won seven straight Para Hockey Cup titles, with the last six coming against Canada. The Canadians are searching for their first gold medal at the tournament since 2013.

“For us we need to refocus, take the positives that we had through the first two games and build on that going into the semifinals,” Canada forward Liam Hickey said. “We want to make sure that we make it into the gold-medal game for the opportunity to face [the Americans] again.

“We know we can do it; we just have to put our minds to it and get the win [on Friday].”

Canada also fell to the reigning Paralympic champs in the International Para Hockey Cup final last month in Ostrava, Czech Republic, and the worlds final last June in Moose Jaw, Sask.

The Americans beat Canada for Para Hockey gold at the last two Paralympics.

Canada roster

Forwards:

  • #19 Dominic Cozzolino — Mississauga, Ont.
  • #15 Jonathan Daigle — Boucherville, Que.
  • #11 Adam Dixon — Midland, Ont.
  • #4 James Dunn — Wallacetown, Ont.
  • #23 Liam Hickey — St. John’s
  • #26 Anton Jacobs-Webb  — Gatineau, Que.
  • #29 Micah Kovacevich — Edmonton
  • #20 Jacob Leblanc — Moncton, N.B.
  • #8 Tyler McGregor — Forest, Ont.
  • #25 Saoud Messaoudi — Saint-Hubert, Que.
  • #9 Corbyn Smith — Monkton, Ont.
  • #24 Sam Swafford — Ottawa

Defencemen:

  • #61 Rob Armstrong — Erin, Ont.
  • #17 Shawn Burnett — McMasterville, Que.
  • #2 Rod Crane — Clarksburg, Ont.
  • #92 Auren Halbert — Calgary
  • #5 Tyrone Henry — Ottawa
  • #7 Zach Lavin — Essex, Ont.

Goaltenders:

  • #33 Mitchell Garrett — Surrey, B.C.
  • #54 Adam Kingsmill — Smithers, B.C.

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