The Canadian men’s Para hockey team opened its three-game series versus rival United States with a narrow loss on Wednesday night, falling 1-0 in overtime on home ice at the Woolwich Memorial Centre in Elmira, Ont.
Star forward Brody Roybal scored the winner 42 seconds into the extra frame.
Veteran Canadian goaltender Dominic Larocque delivered another strong performance, making 34 saves in a game that saw them outshot 35-6.
Canada killed five of six penalties but struggled to generate offence versus the reigning Paralympic champions.
It was the first matchup between the two teams since the U.S. captured gold in the Para Hockey Cup final in December.
“Part of our journey to becoming a team is to bring a competitive spirit every night. I think tonight was the best example of that spirit I have seen throughout our line-up, right from our veteran players to our first-year players,” Canada head coach Russ Herrington said in a release.
“I think we can build on this performance, and even if the shots did not show it tonight, we are committed to playing strong defensively. I thought that was a strong point of our game today.”
Canadian forward James Dunn stated the team is on the right track, with a number of positives to take away from the loss.
“We played a great game overall. Everyone was doing their jobs and we played the style of play that we want to play when we face the United States,” Dunn said.
“We can take a lot of great things from tonight, and we are looking forward to the next two games this week.”
The next match in the series is Friday in Elmira at 7 p.m. ET, with the final matchup to follow on Saturday at 4 p.m. ET.