KELOWNA, BC – Canada’s National Sledge Hockey Team has won gold at the 2007 World Sledge Hockey Challenge following a 1-0 overtime win over Norway on Saturday night at the Capital News Centre. It is the second consecutive major international sledge event the Canadians have won, after their gold medal victory at the 2006 Paralympic Winter Games in Turin, ITA.
Canada swept through the tournament with a perfect 4-0 record, outscoring the opposition 17-5 on their way to the gold medal. The National Sledge Hockey Team has lost just twice in 16 games in 2006-07, only once in regulation time.
Bradley Bowden (Orton, ON) was the overtime hero for the Canada, scoring 48 seconds into overtime to give the Canadians the gold medal in front of a capacity – and pro-Canadian – crowd.
Bowden’s goal gave him seven points (three goals, four assists) in four games at the World Sledge Hockey Challenge, tying him with Greg Westlake (Oakville, ON) (four goals, three assists) for the team lead in scoring. Westlake and Marc Dorion (Bourget, ON) tied for the team lead with four goals apiece.
Sledge hockey is the Paralympic version of hockey and, since its debut on the Paralympic program at the 1994 Lillehammer Paralympic Winter Games, has become one of the biggest attractions for spectators at the Paralympic Winter Games. It is fast-paced, highly physical and played by male athletes with a physical disability in the lower part of the body.