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Canada opens world sledge hockey championship with 11-0 win over Italy

NHL.com @NHL

MARLBOROUGH, Mass. - Billy Bridges scored three goals and assisted on two others as Canada thrashed Italy 11-0 in its opener at the world sledge hockey championship Saturday.

Greg Westlake, with two goals and an assist, Herve Lord, with a pair, Marc Dorion, Todd Nicholson, Ray Grassi and Graeme Murray had the goals for Canada, the defending Paralympic champion which is seeking gold at this event for the first time since 2004.

"We did a lot of good things offensively, made some great plays off the rush," said head coach Jeff Snyder. "Defensively, we got a little sloppy as the game went on.

"I hope it's because the game was so one-sided. That can happen sometimes but we'll need to be better."

Paul Rosen picked up the shutout, making three saves.

Santino Stillitano allowed seven goals in 38:57 of work, while Roberto Kanestrin finished up the 45 minutes and gave up four more.

Canada was 2-for-3 on the power play, something Snyder was pleased with.

"We've worked really hard on our power play and did a nice job on it," he said. "I think we're going to need later on in the week. We also did a good job using our speed to our advantage."

Next up for Canada is a tilt with Germany on Sunday.

"They were fourth at the Paralympics so they'll be a real good test for us," said Snyder. "But if we play our game we should be able to handle them."

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