CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. – You’d be wrong if you thought Canada’s 9-3 win over Korea was a cakewalk Monday on the second day of the World Sledge Hockey Challenge in Charlottetown.
After all, the plucky Koreans flew out of the gate, hit everything in sight and befuddled the Canadians en route to the game’s first goal by Young Sung Kim 1:45 into the first period.
Canada’s Brad Bowden tied it eight minutes later and things were remained 1-1 at the first intermission.
Then linemates Greg Westlake and Tyler McGregor took over in the second, each scoring twice and chipping in two assists, as Canada scored six times over a five-minute span and salted the game away.
Korea’s Seung Hwan Jung made the Canucks nervous and the score 3-2 one minute after Westlake’s first goal, but the Canadian firepower was too much.
Westlake, the Canadian captain, said he was pleased, but not too pleased, with the win.
“They’re big and they were fresh and they were ready for us. We know our game pretty well and they know our game pretty well. We were quiet and not communicating and they jumped,” said Westlake. “In the second, we got a couple of goals and some momentum and that closed the door. We’ve got to be tidy (defensively). I’d rather win 3-0 than 9-3. I’d rather give up nothing than score nine goals.”
Canada goes to 2-0, while Korea dropped to 0-2. All four teams have today off then resume the preliminary round on Wednesday.
Dominic Cozzolino (2), Bowden and James Dunn had the other Canadian goals. Rob Armstrong chipped in a pair of assists.
Korea had its share of penalties in the chippy contest, including seven teeing infractions and giving Canada nine power-play chances on which Canada scored twice.
But the Canadians weren’t clean, either, getting whistled on a roughing call late in the third frame that Min Su Han capitalized on to close out the scoring.
Despite the loss, Jung said his squad had a good game plan and, aside from that stretch of time in the second frame, played the Canadians straight up.
“We had a pretty good first period and going into the second, but… the Canadians read our plays and turned it around. I’m disappointed we got scored on a lot, but in the whole time we’ve played the Canadian team this is the most we’ve scored,” Jung said through a translator. “But now the thing is we really want to beat Italy. We want to get third place (in the round robin) in this tournament.”
Jung added an assist, while Jong Kyung Lee added two helpers.
Also on Monday, the United States thumped Italy 10-0.
Korea and Italy (0-2) tangle on Wednesday at noon, followed by Canada versus the United States (0-2) at 7 p.m.
A look at Monday’s World Sledge Hockey Challenge preliminary game at MacLauchlan Arena.
Korea – Young Sung Kim (1), Seung Hwan Jung (1), Min Su Han (1).
Canada – Brad Bowden 2 (5), Greg Westlake 2 (3), Tyler McGregor 2 (2), Dominic Cozzolino 2 (2), James Dunn (1).
Korea – Jong Kyung Lee 2 (2), Dong Shin Jang (1), Byeong Seok Cho (1), Young Jae Cho (1), Seung Hwan Jung (1).
Canada – Rob Armstrong 2 (3), Greg Westlake 2 (4), Tyler McGregor 2 (3), Steve Arsenault (2), Billy Bridges (3), Liam Hickey (2), Zach Lavin (1).
Korea – Jae Woong Lee, 20-of-30, loss, Man Gyun Yu, 12-of-14.
Canada – Dominic Larocque, 7-of-10, win.
Next Up – Korea (0-2) and Italy (0-2) tangle on Wednesday at noon, followed by Canada (2-0) versus the United States (0-2) at 7 p.m., all at MacLauchlan Arena.
By The Numbers
Shots By Period
Korea – 2-3-5, 10.
Canada – 7-13-12, 32.
Korea – 14.
Canada – 20.
Korea – 2-of-6, 33 per cent.
Canada – 2-of-9, 22 per cent.
Korea – 0.
Canada – 2.