Canada easily defeated Italy, 10-0, on Sunday (11 March) to remain undefeated atop Group A at the PyeongChang 2018 Paralympic Winter Games and notch its 10th consecutive Paralympic preliminary-round win, dating back to 2006.
Six different players scored for Canada, including former able-bodied player Ben Delaney, who recorded a hat-trick.
“We are certainly developing as a team here, playing hard and working the system our coaches gave us,” Delaney said. “Nothing has surprised us here yet, and we’ve just been going out and following our roots. We won’t become complacent here and will keep working hard every game.”
Forward Tyler McGregor kicked off the scoring for Canada for the second night in a row, celebrating his 24th birthday with a power-play goal 3:59 into the game that would prove to be the decisive score. Canada easily built upon that lead, as Adam Dixon, the best defenceman at the last World Championships, scored and then Delaney got a glimpse of an empty net and quickly shovelled in the puck to increase the margin to three.
Liam Hickey, a Rio 2016 Paralympian in wheelchair basketball, scored his third and fourth goals of the tournament early in the second period, going to the side with the first one with a left-handed swipe. Nicknamed “The Kid,” Delaney then scored twice more– both-times short-handed – to complete his hat trick and close out the period with a seven-goal advantage.
In the third period, Dom Cozzolino, playing in his first Paralympics after injuring his spinal-cord in an able-bodied hockey game in 2009, cleaned up a loose puck in the slot for a score. Then, 17-year-old James Dunn converted twice, mimicking what he has seen at the Gangneung Hockey Centre from his idol and teammate, McGregor, with two scores of his own.
Next up, Canada will go for its third consecutive victory against Norway and Italy will aim to regroup against Sweden.
Every competition as well as the Opening and Closing Ceremonies can be watched live right here on the International Paralympic Committee’s website. Highlights of each day’s action will also be made available.