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7 September 2012

Game 10 Recap: CAN vs SWE

In what may go down as the most exciting game at these Paralympics, Canada edged out Sweden to advance to the semi-finals in a thrilling 53-52 game. When Canada and Sweden met at Canada Cup in June, Canada won by just one point in the final seconds, and wheelchair rugby fans worldwide were expecting a similar level of play.


They weren't disappointed. The two well-matched squads went blow for blow, goal for goal, even turnover for turnover throughout the entire first half. By halftime, Sweden held a narrow 28-27 lead, and by the end of the third the game was tied again at 39-39. During the fourth quarter, fatigue began to set in on both sides and each squad was able to force a few turnovers. With one minute to go, Canada was up by one. To avoid a 12-second violation, Mike Whitehead threw a long bomb pass to Trevor Hirschfield. The ball appeared to be heading out of bounds, but Hirschfield sprinted towards the line and picked up the ball to carry it across the line with a split second to spare, putting Canada up by two.


Sweden came down to score again, and with 10 seconds on the clock, the score was 53-52. Sweden triple-teamed Garett Hickling with the ball to try to force a jump ball. In the ruckus, Garett flung the ball towards the face of a Swedish player, and both parties were assessed technical fouls. With four seconds left, the game was 3 on 3 and Canada hung on to win and advance to the semi-finals.