Canada suffers familiar fate against U.S. with back-to-back losses in Para hockey series

Canada’s national Para hockey team was unable to bounce back against the juggernaut United States in Game 2 of their three-game series on Friday, falling 4-1 for their second straight loss in Minot, N.D.

American star Declan Farmer opened the scoring and led his team with three points in a game that saw Canada outshot 24-11 at Maysa Arena.

Canadian captain Tyler McGregor of Forest, Ont., scored the team’s lone goal, striking on the power play in the second period. St. John’s native Liam Hickey collected the assist.

The U.S. entered the final frame with a 3-1 lead after second-period goals from Josh Misiewicz and Noah Grove, and Brody Roybal added a power-play marker to close out the scoring.

Smithers, B.C.’s Adam Kingsmill made 20 saves in his second straight start, while American goalie Griffin LaMarre turned away 10 shots.

“The goal is to get better every day and I thought that we did just that in a lot of respects tonight,” Canada head coach Russ Herrington said. “It was one of those games where we miss at one end and they come back down and score at the other. Ultimately, we are playing against a team that will pounce on you if you turn over pucks in the bad areas of the ice.

“We did a better job of managing that today, but obviously it was not good enough to stop [the American] offence. We are starting to show progress in some key areas here in Minot.”

It’s a familiar fate for the Canadian squad, which hasn’t defeated their North American rivals since Oct. 29, 2021. The U.S. leads the overall series 63-59-1 and beat Canada for gold at the last two Paralympics and last three world championships.

The Canadians were blanked 7-0 in Wednesday’s opening game. They will try to avoid the sweep in Game 3 on Saturday, with puck drop at 4:30 p.m. ET. Watch live coverage on the USA Hockey TV website.

“We put more together tonight than our last game, which is what we have been focusing on as a group,” Hickey said. “We are looking to take what we did well today and bring it into the last game of the series tomorrow. Every opportunity we have to get together as a team is crucial to our success.

“We want to build as a group moving forward and these events are super important to us to prepare for the major tournaments on the horizon.”

Canada will face the U.S. in another three-game series next month on home ice in Calgary (April 1-6).

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