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Apr. 24, 2013

 Scott Gouthro has a new gold medal to add to his collection.

“It still hasn’t really sunk in to be honest,” the 32-year old Cape Breton native says. “Being on the blueline and singing the national anthem with your teammates and staff is amazing.”

Gouthro was the video and goaltending coach for Canada’s national men’s sledge hockey team that shut out the United States 1-0 in Goyang, South Korea on Saturday to capture its first International Paralympic Committee (IPC) world championship gold medal in five years.

“The guys dominated the game,” Gouthro says. “We hit two or three posts so it was closer than it should’ve been.”

Canadian defenceman Graeme Murray was the only player to find the back of the net in the championship game, scoring 2:07 into the second period after his shot was redirected off an American player in the slot.

Canada outshot the US 15-5.

“It was a lot closer than we would’ve liked it to be,” Gouthro says. “The third period seemed like it took forever.”

For most of the last decade, Gouthro has been the goaltending and video coach for the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles. He first got involved with Hockey Canada in 2011 when he was asked to be a part of Canada’s coaching staff with the U18 team that captured gold at the 2011 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament in Europe. This was his first year with Canada’s men’s sledge hockey team.

“It’s amazing – the guys are extremely high-end athletes,” Gouthro says. “The periods are fifteen minutes instead of twenty but other than that, it’s the exact same game.”

When it comes to playing goal in sledge hockey, Gouthro points out there is a little more reaching involved for the netminders but aside from that, it’s the same position.

“It’s still all about tracking pucks, rebound control and creating good habits in the net,” Gouthro says.

Canada finished the tournament with a perfect 5-0 record on South Korean ice during a month when many world eyes were focused on the Asian country amid fears of an attack from its northern neighbour. Gouthro says the team wasn’t fazed by the international unrest.

“Hockey Canada had a plan in place in case anything did happen,” says Gouthro. “But the people there went about their day as if it was any other day. There was literally nothing spoken about it and the guys stayed away from the news and focused on what they had to do.”

While Gouthro and most of the team returned home Sunday, some team members and Hockey Canada’s sledge general manager travelled to Sochi, Russia to do a site check for next year’s Paralympics. That’s an event Gouthro would love to be part of.

“We’ll see what happens,” he says. “It would be great to have the opportunity to continue to be a part of the program. It’s not every day you get a chance to represent your country and be a part of something like that and the (Screaming) Eagles have been super supportive.”

Hockey Nova Scotia would like to congratulate Scott Gouthro on his gold medal and wish him all the best in his coaching career.

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