McGregor hat trick helps Canada book ticket to Para Hockey Cup final against rival U.S.

Canada's national Para-hockey team booked its ticket to the gold-medal game at the 2022 Para Hockey Cup with a dominant 7-0 semifinal win over the Czech Republic on Thursday in Bridgewater, N.S.

Canadian captain strikes 3 times in dominant 7-0 semifinal win over Czechs

Canadian Para-hockey captain Tyler McGregor scores a goal during his team's 7-0 win over the Czech Republic in the Para Hockey Cup semifinals on Thursday in Bridgewater, N.S. (@HockeyCanada/Twitter)

Canada's national Para-hockey team booked its ticket to the gold-medal game at the 2022 Para Hockey Cup with a dominant 7-0 semifinal win over the Czech Republic on Thursday in Bridgewater, N.S.

The Canadians will face rival United States on Saturday in a rematch of the final from the Beijing Paralympics last March, which saw the Americans capture their fourth straight Paralympic gold medal.

"We have a great opportunity here in front of us and I think we have to remember that. We're just focused on what we can do, the little details and taking care of our own end and playing our game. You dream of these moments, and we're excited," said veteran Canadian forward Liam Hickey.

Captain Tyler McGregor scored a hat trick while tying the record for most goals in a single Para Hockey Cup with nine. The three-time Paralympic medallist from Forest, Ont., now shares the mark with fellow Canadian great Greg Westlake and Norway's Rolf Einar Pedersen.

Canadian goalie Jean-François Huneault posted a six-save shutout while making his second straight start, building on his strong performance in the overtime loss to the U.S. on Wednesday in the final preliminary-round game.

McGregor opened the scoring just over a minute into the first period as Canada took control early against the Czechs. Defenceman Rob Armstrong added the insurance marker before McGregor scored his second goal of the game in front of the cheering crowd at the Lunenburg County Lifestyle Centre.

The Canadians picked up where they left off in the second, with Hickey shooting the puck top shelf over veteran Czech goalie Michal Vapenka midway through the period. McGregor and fellow forward Dominic Cozzolino picked up assists on the goal.

James Dunn scored his fifth goal of the tournament just under two minutes later to give Canada a commanding 5-0 lead. 

Vapenka robbed McGregor in the final minute of the second period, doing everything he could to give his team a chance. But McGregor completed the hat trick three minutes into the third period to move one goal away from the single-tournament record.

Cozzolino helped set up all three McGregor goals while finishing the game with five assists.

Canada's Tyler McGregor carries the puck during his team's semifinal win over the Czech Republic on Thursday. (@HockeyCanada/Twitter)

Hickey added his second goal of the game four minutes later to close out the scoring, while Canada's strong defensive play continued to shut down the Czechs.

"I liked how we stayed focused on our own end tonight. Sometimes guys can get looking for points in a game like this, but we took care of things defensively and stayed focused on all the little details," said Canadian head coach Russ Herrington.

Canada is searching for its first gold medal at the Para Hockey Cup since 2013. The U.S. has won six straight gold medals at the tournament, with the last five coming from wins over Canada.

Cozzolino said the team is excited for the opportunity to defeat the Americans for gold on home ice.

"Every kid who plays hockey has dreamed of the opportunity to play for a gold medal on Canadian soil and beating the U.S.A. while doing it," Cozzolino said.

"The fans here have been amazing, our families have been here from the start and the town of Bridgewater has been so supportive. We're all looking forward to the opportunity on Saturday."

The Czech Republic will take on Italy in the bronze-medal game on Saturday. 

Evan Nichols recorded a hat trick as the U.S. beat the Italians 11-0 in the other semifinal earlier on Thursday to remain undefeated with a 4-0 record in the tournament.

The four-team tournament was last held in 2019 in Paradise, N.L., but was cancelled in 2020 and 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Canada's 20-man roster boasts a mixture of Paralympic veterans and younger talent, with 10 players from the Paralympic team that won silver in Beijing. The Canadians finished the preliminary round with a 2-1 record, with the lone loss coming against the Americans.

Canada roster


  • #4 James Dunn — Wallacetown, Ont.
  • #8 Tyler McGregor — Forest, Ont.
  • #9 Corbyn Smith — Monkton, Ont.
  • #13 Vincent Boily — Alma, Que.
  • #19 Dominic Cozzolino — Mississauga, Ont.
  • #20 Jacob Leblanc — Moncton, N.B.
  • #21 Alexis Auclair — Saint-Hyacinthe, Que.
  • #22 Matteo Pellizzari — Vancouver
  • #23 Liam Hickey — St. John's
  • #26 Anton Jacobs-Webb  — Gatineau, Que.
  • #98 Mathieu Lelièvre — Levis, Que.


  • #2 Rod Crane — Clarksburg, Ont.
  • #5 Tyrone Henry — Ottawa
  • #7 Zach Lavin — Essex, Ont.
  • #11 Adam Dixon — Midland, Ont.
  • #29 Micah Kovacevich — Edmonton
  • #61 Rob Armstrong — Erin, Ont.
  • #92 Auren Halbert — Calgary


  • #30 Jean-François Huneault — Saint-Eustache, Que.
  • #31 Dominic Larocque — Quebec City

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