NAGANO, Japan – Canada’s National Sledge Team has earned the silver medal at the 2011 Japan Para Ice Sledge Hockey Championship after a 1-0 loss to Norway in its final round robin game on Monday night at Big Hat Arena. Canada finished the tournament with a 2-1 record, including wins over the United States (2-1) and Japan (5-0).
The silver medal is the first in three appearances for Canada at the tournament – it won gold in 2008, when the tournament was held in Asahikawa, and in 2009 in Nagano.
On Monday, Canada got 15 saves from goaltender Benoit St-Amand (St-Hubert, Que.), but couldn’t avoid being shut out for the first time since , a span of 20 games. The Canadians were outshot 16-13 by Norway.
Billy Bridges (Summerside, P.E.I.) finished as Canada’s top scorer in the tournament, with four goals and one assist, while Kevin Rempel (Dundas, Ont.) (one goal, one assist) and Marc Dorion (Bourget, Ont.) (two assists), were the only other Canadians to record more than one point.
Gold medal and bronze medal games were originally scheduled for the tournament, but Saturday and Sunday’s round robin games were pushed back one day following the 8.9-magnitude earthquake that struck Japan on Friday, and the decision was made to award the gold medal to the team with the best record following the round robin.
The 2010-11 season concludes for Canada’s National Sledge Team when London, Ont., hosts the 2011 World Sledge Hockey Challenge, April 18-23 at the Western Fair Sports Centre. Canada has won a pair of gold medals (2007, 2008) and one silver medal (2009) at the event, which will include the same four teams that competed in Nagano..
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