By Josh Bell
In one of the most thrilling para hockey games in recent history, Canada fell to the United States in overtime in the gold medal Game at the 2018 Paralympic Games in Pyeongchang. With under a minute left in the game and Canada leading the U.S. 1-0, Canadian Rob Armstrong’s shot fired off the post of an empty net. The U.S. picked up the puck, took it the other way and scored, tying the game with 37 seconds left, before ultimately winning the game and the gold medal in overtime.
Ottawa’s own Ben Delaney added to his 2014 bronze from Sochi, while Stittsville’s Tyrone Henry got his first taste of Paralympic action. Team Canada won all four of their games leading up to the gold medal, by a commanding goal differential of 42-0. The final minute of the gold medal game is one that Henry won’t forget.
“I was pretty confident we were going to win, we had a very good chance,” Henry said.
“However, hockey is unpredictable and even though things didn’t turn out how we wanted, I’m very proud of all the other players on the team. Even though the colour of the medal may not have been what we wanted we could still leave the game with our heads held high.”
“This is just the start,” team captain Billy Bridges said after the team’s heartbreaking finale. This may be especially true for 24-year-old Henry and his Paralympic career.
“When you look at the roster and the guys around the room we have a very good group going forward and we will only get better,” Henry said. “We have a good core that will bring us into the next few years that will lead to a lot of success. It will be a very exciting time seeing where this team will go in the next few years.”
With the next Paralympic Games four years away, those Games are not yet on Henry’s list of priorities.
“I’m not shifting my focus from Pyeongchang to Beijing. It’s four years away and a lot of work needs to be done in that time in order to compete for a gold medal again. I’m looking forward to that challenge.”