Seventeen Canadians have been selected to represent their country at the 2017 World Para Ice Hockey Championships in Gangneung, South Korea, from 11-20 April.
The selections were made following a full season of training camps and international competition; those included a golden performance at the 2017 International Para Ice Hockey Tournament in Turin, Italy, and a silver-medal showing at the 2016 World Sledge Hockey Challenge in Charlottetown, Canada.
The team’s coaching staff and Hockey Canada’s management group led by Shawn Bullock, senior manager of hockey operations and national teams, decided the roster.
“The naming of the final 17-player roster was not easy; however, we feel that the 17 players selected give us the best chance at winning a gold medal,” said head coach Ken Babey.
“We have selected a team that is a mix of experience, skill, and youth. We understand that the competition will be strong, and to be successful, we will need to play the Canadian Way.”
The roster, which includes two goaltenders, five defencemen, and 10 forwards, features a relatively young squad that is teeming with international experience:
- Five players making their World Championships debut with the national team (Armstrong, Cozzolini, Henry, Hickey, Smith)
- Fiftenn players who struck gold at the 2017 International Para Ice Hockey Tournament in February (Armstong, Arsenault, Cozzolino, Delaney, Dixon, Gemmell, Henry, Hickey, Larocque, McGregor, Sholomicki, Smith, Sorley, Watson, Westlake)
- Ten players who won bronze with Team Canada at the Sochi 2014 Paralympic Winter Games (Arsenault, Bowden, Bridges, Delaney, Dixon, Gemmell, Larocque, McGregor, Watson, Westlake)
Canada came away with silver from the 2015 tournament in Buffalo, New York, USA. Since its introduction in 1996, the Worlds have been held eight times. Canada has medalled seven times, winning three gold medals (2000, 2008, 2013), one silver (2015), and three bronze (1996, 2009, 2012).
No. 6 – Rob Armstrong
No. 18 – Billy Bridges
No. 3 – Dominic Cozzolino
No. 10 – Ben Delaney
No. 23 – Liam Hickey
No. 8 – Tyler McGregor
No. 20 – Bryan Sholomicki
No. 9 – Corbyn Smith
No. 12 – Greg Westlake
No. 14 – Steve Arsenault
No. 27 – Brad Bowden
No. 11 – Adam Dixon
No. 25 – James Gemmell
No. 5 – Henry Tyrone
No. 15 – Kevin Sorley
No. 31 – Dominic Laroque
No. 30 – Corbin Watson
Live coverage and the game schedule of the 2017 World Para Ice Hockey Championships is available at Gangneung2017.com.
Gangneung 2017 also doubles as the Test Event for the PyeongChang 2018 Paralympic Winter Games. All games will be played at the Gangneung Hockey Centre.
For more information on Hockey Canada and Canada’s national Para ice hockey team, please visit HockeyCanada.ca, or follow along via social media on Facebook, and Twitter.