TORONTO, Ont. – Hockey Canada, in partnership with the Canadian Paralympic Committee (CPC), announced the 17 players nominated to represent Team Canada at the 2018 Paralympic Winter Games in PyeongChang, South Korea, March 9-18.
Canada’s roster includes two goaltenders, six defencemen, and nine forwards:
- Goaltenders: Dominic Larocque (Quebec City, Que.) and Corbin Watson (Kingsville, Ont.);
- Defencemen: Rob Armstrong (Erin, Ont.), Steve Arsenault (Spruce Grove, Alta.), Brad Bowden (Orton, Ont.), Adam Dixon (Midland, Ont.), James Gemmell (Quesnel, B.C.), and Tyrone Henry (Ottawa);
- Forwards: Billy Bridges (Summerside, P.E.I.), Dominic Cozzolino (Mississauga, Ont.), Ben Delaney (Ottawa), James Dunn (Wallacetown, Ont.), Liam Hickey (St. John’s, N.L.), Tyler McGregor (Forest, Ont.), Bryan Sholomicki (Winnipeg), Corbyn Smith (Monkton, Ont.) and Greg Westlake (Toronto)
Canada’s Paralympic Hockey Team also features 10 players (Arsenault, Bowden, Bridges, Delaney, Dixon, Gemmell, Larocque, McGregor, Watson and Westlake) who brought home the bronze medal at the 2014 Paralympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia; three players (Bowden, Bridges and Westlake) who captured Canada’s first Paralympic gold medal at the 2006 Winter Games in Torino, Italy; and 16 players (Armstrong, Arsenault, Bowden, Bridges, Cozzolino, Delaney, Dixon, Gemmell, Henry, Hickey, Larocque, McGregor, Sholomicki, Smith, Watson and Westlake) who won the gold medal at the 2017 IPC World Para Hockey Championship in Gangneung, South Korea.
“It has been a long season of training, regional camps and international competition, but it has brought us to today where we can move on to the next stage with the 17 players we have chosen to represent Canada,” said head coach Ken Babey (Saskatoon, Sask.). “It was not an easy decision; our players have pushed each other all year to put us in the best possible position to win a gold medal. We’re excited to get to PyeongChang, put on the Team Canada jersey, and represent our country with pride.”
The nominated players were selected by Hockey Canada management and coaching staff led by Babey.
“The opportunity to put on the Canadian jersey to represent your country at the Paralympics is one of great honour and pride,” said Hockey Canada CEO, Tom Renney. “Some of these athletes are getting to represent their country at their fourth Paralympic Games, and the pride they have today is no different than the first time they had a chance to play for their country on the world stage.
“The passion they have for the game and the chance to grow the sport of para hockey will be on the display from the first moment they get on the ice in PyeongChang. We are proud of their talent and the way they inspire the next generation of aspiring Paralympians.”
Canada’s Paralympic Hockey Team will be in search of its first gold medal at the Paralympic Winter Games since sitting atop the podium in 2006, beginning with the first puck-drop against Sweden on Saturday, March 10.
“Congratulations to all of the para ice hockey players nominated to the 2018 Canadian Paralympic Team,” said Todd Nicholson, Team Canada’s Chef de Mission for the PyeongChang 2018 Paralympic Winter Games. “I know how it feels to have the opportunity to line up on the ice alongside your teammates on the biggest stage for the sport. It is a huge accomplishment, and each athlete should be immensely proud. This is a strong para ice hockey team and I hope all Canadians get behind them. I can’t wait to support the team in PyeongChang.”
Paralympic hockey action opens on Friday, March 9 and closes on Saturday, March 17 at the Gangneung Hockey Centre. Canada is competing in Group A with Italy, Norway and Sweden.
“Hockey being Canada’s national winter sport, I have no doubt all eyes will be on the Canadian para ice hockey team in PyeongChang,” said the Honourable Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science, and Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities. “I look forward to seeing these inspiring athletes dominate on the ice. Go Canada!”
Prior to being named to Team Canada, all nominations are subject to approval by the CPC’s Team Selection Committee following its receipt of nominations by all National Sport Federations. The Canadian Paralympic Committee will officially name the Canadian Paralympic Team later this month.
Hockey Canada also named the four players who will make up its leadership group at the 2018 Paralympic Winter Games. Greg Westlake will once again wear the ‘C’, and will be supported by Dixon, McGregor and Sholomicki.
“These four players were named to our leadership group last season and continue to set the example on-and-off the ice for our group,” said Babey. “This is a confident group and we know they’ll be successful in leading our team into PyeongChang.”
Photo and Story: Canadian Paralympic Committee