CALGARY, Alta. – For the fourth time in tournament history, Canada’s National Sledge Team has won the gold medal at the World Sledge Hockey Challenge, defeating the United States 4-1 in Saturday’s gold medal game at the WinSport Canada Athletic & Ice Complex.
Canada also won the gold medal in 2007 in Kelowna, B.C., 2008 in Charlottetown, P.E.I., and last April in London, Ont., defeating Norway in all three gold medal games. It lost the gold medal game to the U.S. in overtime in 2009 in Charlottetown.
Greg Westlake (Oakville, Ont.) led the way for Canada on Saturday with a natural hat trick, scoring once in the first period, once in the second and once in the third to turn a 1-0 U.S. lead into a 3-1 Canadian advantage. Brad Bowden (Orton, Ont.) assisted on all three of Westlake’s goals and scored one of his own for a four-point night. Bowden finished as the tournament’s top scorer with 15 points (six goals, nine assists), one more than Westlake. Canadian netminder Benoit St-Amand (St-Hubert, Que.) made 13 saves to record the win.
Taylor Lipsett scored the lone goal for the Americans, who claimed the silver medal for the first time; they won gold in 2009 and bronze in 2007, 2008 and last April. Steve Cash turned aside 14 shots in the U.S. goal in a losing cause.
On Saturday afternoon, Norway won the bronze medal with a 5-3 victory over Japan. Audun Bakke scored twice in the third period, including the game-winning goal, to give Norway its second bronze medal to go along with three silvers in five tournament appearances.