Toronto - August 12 -- In one of the most exciting wheelchair rugby games in recent memory, Canada was narrowly defeated 59-60 by the USA in double overtime in the final round robin game of the Toronto 2015 Parapan Am Games. Canada will now play Brazil tomorrow to earn a spot in the gold medal game and a chance for a rematch.
“Games like these come down to little mistakes,” said head coach Kevin Orr. “You can’t afford to make little mistakes at this level, and that’s what cost us.”
Canada was up by as much as three in the first half as the Americans, led by Chuck Aoki and Josh Wheeler, struggled to get through Canada’s smothering defense. A technical foul on Zak Madell in the third, however, caused a momentum shift. In the fourth quarter, a few costly Canadian fouls once again allowed the Americans to tie it up.
Canada leapt off to an early lead in the first overtime, but just when Canada seem poised to win in the final second, they turned the ball over. In the second overtime, the Americans won the tip-off and scored first. Canada was not able to force a turnover and get back in the game.
After the game, co-captain Trevor Hirschfield praised the team’s efforts.
“I thought we played well, but when we got the momentum we couldn’t hold it,” he said. “When you get out there, you’ve got to play big, and that’s what we need to do in the semi-finals and the finals.”
Canada will face Brazil in the semi-finals tomorrow at 5:45 pm at the Mississauga Sports Center.