The game was a replay of the two countries’ fifth-place match at the Paralympic Games in Tokyo last summer, which Canada won by eight points.
“We got a lot of good takeaways from this game,” said Madell, from Okotoks, Alta., a three-time Paralympian who was second in tournament scoring at Tokyo 2020. “We were able to get everybody some pretty good minutes and everyone was able to contribute.”
With Madell on the bench, Canada broke open a close game in the fourth quarter, outscoring the French 14-9 in the final eight minutes.
The teams traded leads for the whole of the first quarter, which ended with the hosts winning 14-13. When Canada went up 21-19 with 4:30 left in the second, it was the first team to take a two-point lead, and it led 28-25 at halftime. It was another back-and-forth third quarter, but two quick tries by Canada to start the fourth quarter opened the floodgates. The European champs used all four of their timeouts in the first quarter, attempting to iron out early tournament flaws.
For the winners, Fabien Lavoie of Quebec City added 10 tries, while Cody Caldwell of Peterborough, Ont. added eight.
This competition features six countries, with Great Britain, the Paralympic winners in Tokyo, world number two Japan, Australia (#4), and Denmark (#7) rounding out the field. Internationally, France and Canada are rated fifth and sixth, respectively.
Great Britain trounced Australia 61-54 in the tournament opener on Thursday. At 7:30 p.m. local time on Thursday, Denmark will face Japan, while Canada will face Australia (10:30 p.m. ET.).