After two rest days,
Canada’s National Para Hockey Team returns to action in Moose Jaw, Sask., meeting Czechia for the second time
this tournament in the semifinals of the 2023 World Para Hockey
Canada closed out the preliminary round with
a 3-0 loss to the United States
. Captain Tyler McGregor led the team with five shots on net. Brody Roybal
and Jack Wallace gave the U.S. a 2-0 lead before Travis Dodson added an
empty-net goal late in the game. Dominic Larocque made 14 saves in the
Czechia secured its spot in the semifinals with a 4-0 win over Italy
Friday afternoon. Zdenek Habl and Pavel Kubes scored only 49 seconds apart
in the middle frame, then Michael Geier added a shorthanded goal to give the
Czechs a 3-0 lead after 30 minutes.
Canada recorded its second win of the tournament after
edging Czechia 2-1 on Tuesday night. McGregor opened scoring for the second game in a row and Adam Dixon scored
the game-winning goal on the power play in the second period. Larocque made
nine saves between the pipes for Canada in his first start at this year’s
What to Watch
A veteran on Canada’s National Para Hockey Team, Larocque’s calm and focused
approach in net has been a big boost for Canada over the years. The
35-year-old was previously named top goaltender at the 2019 and 2021 World
Para Hockey Championships. In two starts in Moose Jaw, Larocque has a .885
saves percentage and a 1.52 goals-against average between the pipes.
Radek Zelinka and Greier are leading Czechia’s offence in this tournament.
Zelinka has two goals in four games—one of which was a power-play goal
against Canada. Greier leads his team with two goals and five points. In
order for Canada to be successful, it needs to limit Zelinka and Greier's
scoring chances throughout the game.
Counting Canada’s win against Czechia earlier this week, the Canadians have
won all 13 meetings.
These countries first met at the 2009 world championship on Czech ice, where
Canada downed the hosts 3-0 in a game that saw Billy Bridges, Canada’s
all-time leading scorer, net a pair of goals.
All-time record: Canada leads 13-0-0
Canada goals: 53
Czechia goals: 3