Canada's wheelchair rugby team remains undefeated at Paralympic qualifier


Canada's wheelchair rugby team continued its strong start to the IWRF Paralympic qualification tournament by beating Sweden and Germany in Richmond, B.C. on Friday. 

Canada overcame its toughest tests so far in the tournament and now hold a perfect 5-0 record with one game remaining against France on Saturday at 5 p.m. ET in the preliminary round.

A back-and-forth battle ensued early on against Sweden in a game the Canadians eventually won 55-39, with both teams creating scoring opportunities. Zak Madell found an opening late in the first quarter to make it 7-6 for Canada, but Tomas Hjert quickly responded with a game-tying try for Sweden.

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The Swedish team pulled off an impressive score that beat the buzzer when Conrad Hilderbrand managed to haul in a long pass just as time expired in the first quarter.

Hjert tied the game up at 12 points apiece in the second quarter, but Madell continued his strong tournament performance by scoring a try to reestablish Canada's one-point lead. The Okotoks, Alta., native scored again just before halftime to give Canada a 24-21 lead.

In its final match of the day against Germany, the Canadians roared to a strong start, opening a 16-8 lead after the first quarter and never looking back from there.

The lead ballooned to 32-21 at halftime before Canada really poured it on the Germans in its eventual 59-31 victory.

Both squads have qualified for the four-team semifinals, even with the loss pushing Germany's record down to 3-2. 

CBC Sports has a free live stream of all of Canada's matches at the 2020 wheelchair rugby Paralympic Games qualifier from Richmond, B.C. Watch all the action here.

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