Island Paralympians coming home with medals

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Islanders are coming home with three medals from the Paralympic Games in Sochi, Russia.

Billy Bridges scored twice and Brad Bowden had the winner Saturday as Canada defeated Norway 3-0 in the bronze medal game in sledge hockey. It was a rematch of the 2010 bronze medal game that the Norwegians won 2-1.

“So proud of my team to rally together and to get a medal for Canada!” Bridges said on Twitter. “They're beautiful! And so worth it!”

Bridges, a Summerside native, joins Hartsville’s Mark Arendz, who captured silver and bronze medals in biathlon earlier in the championship.

Bridges had four shots on goal, was +2 in 20:15 of ice time in Saturday’s contest.

Corbin Watson, of Kingsville, Ont., made 10 saves for his third shutout in four games.

The 29-year-old Bridges had three goals and two assists in five games in Sochi, Russia.

Canada lost 3-0 to the USA in the semifinal for their only defeat of the tournament.

This was his fourth Paralympics, having won gold in 2006 in Torino, Italy, and fourth in 2010 in Vancouver and 2002 in Salt Lake City, UT, USA.

Arendz, 24, won silver in the 7.5-kilometre and bronze in the 12.5-kilometre.

In his second Paralympic Games, the 24-year-old also finished 11th in the 15-kilometre (long) biathlon on Friday while dealing with a head cold and 11th in the 10-kilometre cross-country skiing on Sunday, finishing the course in 25:16.4 (+1:16.5).

Arendz said he felt better on Sunday, but was unsure how long he would last.

“All I could do was start hard (and) see how long I could last at that pace. That was what I did maybe too much so,” he wrote in his blog at

“After the first lap I was one of the leaders. In the following three laps I ran out of steam (and) couldn’t hold the pace I had set in the earlier laps.

“Crossing the finish line I was extremely happy with that race. Though it is the same result as the long biathlon I’m extremely proud and satisfied with that race.”

Team Canada finished the Sochi Games ranked third among all nations in the gold medal count, achieving its performance target for the Games. Canadian athletes won seven gold, two silver and seven bronze medals in Sochi.

Geographic location: Sochi, Canada, Summerside Kingsville USA Torino Italy Vancouver Salt Lake City

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