Canada to play U.S. for gold after defeating Russia at para-hockey worlds
Canada edges Russia 2-1 in semifinals on Friday
Liam Hickey and Tyler McGregor each scored for Canada to defeat the Russia Paralympic Committee (RPC) 2-1 in the semifinals of the 2021 IPC World Para Hockey Championship in Ostrava.
Canada's victory advances the team to the final, where it'll take on the United States — the reigning Paralympic and world champions — for gold.
It'll be a rematch of 2019 world championship, when the United States pulled off an overtime win over Canada. The Canadians also took home silver at the 2018 Paralympics.
Liam Hickey of St. John's, N.L., led the way with a short-handed goal and an assist.
With Canada killing its second straight penalty less than three minutes into the game, Hickey opened things up, weaving through several RPC players to find the back of the net.
Each team capitalized on power plays in the second period, with McGregor notching one for Canada and RPC's Mikhal Miachin responding to bring the score up to 2-1.
WATCH l Canada advances to gold-medal game at para-hockey worlds:
A scoreless third period, with Canada accounting for three of four penalties, secured the team a trip to the finals.
A 'gutsy effort'
Canada outshot the RPC 13-7, with all seven Russian chances coming in a fiery second period.
Goalie Dominic Larocque of Quebec City made six saves.
"It was a gutsy effort from our entire team today," Canada coach Ken Babey said. "Even when we were faced with adversity, our group stayed composed and focused on getting the win. Heading into tomorrow, we have an opportunity to bring home a gold medal and we know we will need to play our best game. This team is certainly up for the challenge."
Canada entered the game having won all three of its preliminary-round games to lead Group A.
In reaching the semifinals, both teams secured berths for the Beijing 2022 Paralympic Winter Games.
Canada will play the United States on Saturday at 3 p.m. ET.
With files from The Canadian Press