DAY 7 – SATURDAY, DECEMBER 8
Taylor Chace (D) – United States
The U.S. captain was everywhere for the Americans in Saturday night’s gold medal game, seeing time on the power play, penalty kill and plenty at five-on-five. Oh, and he scored the game’s only goal as the U.S. won the World Sledge Hockey Challenge with a 1-0 victory over Canada. It’s the second gold medal at the tournament for Chace and the Americans, and the Hampton Falls, N.H., native played a fairly big role in the first one – he scored the overtime winner in the gold medal game at the 2009 event in Charlottetown, P.E.I., giving the U.S. its first gold and handing Canada its lone loss at the tournament before Saturday night. The victory gives the United States possession of sledge hockey’s three biggest titles – the Paralympics, IPC Sledge Hockey World Championship and World Sledge Hockey Challenge.
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DAY 5 – THURSDAY, DECEMBER 6
Greg Westlake (F) – Canada
Captain Canada came up big once again in a playoff round game at the World Sledge Hockey Challenge, scoring twice and adding three assists in a 10-0 semifinal win over Japan as the Canadians advanced to the gold medal game for the sixth time in as many tries at the tournament. One year after recording hat tricks in the semifinal and gold medal game, Westlake scored twice while shorthanded and set up two goals by Brad Bowden and one by Adam Dixon, pulling himself within a single point of teammate Billy Bridges for the tournament scoring lead with 10 points (3G, 7A) in four games. He now has 65 points (33G, 32A) in 26 career World Sledge Hockey Challenge games, an average of two-and-a-half points per game.
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DAY 4 – WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER
Kjell Christian Hamar (G) – Norway
The Norwegian netminder was on his game Wednesday afternoon, turning aside all 14 shots he faced in regulation and overtime and two of three in the shootout to lead the Scandinavians to their first victory and head into the semifinals on a winning note. Hamar was at his busiest in the third period, thanks in large part to a trio of Japanese power plays, making nine saves to keep the game scoreless. Although Japanese captain Satoru Sudo would finally solve Hamar with a beautiful move in the shootout, it was too little, too late as Norway avoided just their second winless preliminary round in six all-time appearances at the World Sledge Hockey Challenge.
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DAY 2 – MONDAY, DECEMBER 3
Kevin McKee (F) – United States
The Americans spread around the scoring in their 8-0 rout of Japan, with six players scoring goals and 10 picking up at least one point, but it was Kevin McKee who led the way with two goals and an assist to help the U.S. remain unbeaten and set up a first-place showdown with Canada on Wednesday night. McKee book-ended first-period and third-period goals around a second-period assist as the Americans guaranteed themselves of a top-two spot in the preliminary round. The native of Davenport, Iowa, was one of four U.S. skaters to see their names on the scoresheet more than once – Josh Pauls scored two goals of his own, while Alexi Salamone and Josh Sweeney picked up two assists apiece.
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DAY 1 – SUNDAY, DECEMBER 2
Marc Dorion (F) – Canada
He got the scoring started on Canada’s second shot on goal just 2:46 in, added his second goal late in the first period and wrapped up his hat trick before the game’s midway point – not a bad World Sledge Hockey Challenge opener for Marc Dorion. The Canadian forward also played the role of set-up man, earning an assist on Kevin Rempel’s third-period goal, giving him a four-point evening as Canada romped to an 11-0 win over Japan. Dorion and linemate Billy Bridges (four assists) combined for eight points in the victory, two of 12 Canadian skaters with at least one point, eight with at least two points and four with at least three points as Canada spread around the scoring in the one-sided victory.
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