CANADA BEATS U.S. TO WIN SLEDGE WORLDS GOLD
JASON LA ROSE
GANGNEUNG, South Korea – Brad Bowden (Orton, Ont.) opened the scoring and added two assists, helping Canada’s National Sledge Team win the gold medal at the 2017 IPC World Para Hockey Championship with a 4-1 victory over the United States on Thursday.
It’s the fourth world title for the Canadians, who also topped the podium in 2000, 2008 and 2013. Their last world title also came on Korean ice, three years ago in Goyang.
Tyler McGregor (Forest, Ont.) scored twice – giving him a tournament co-leading 12 goals – and Billy Bridges (Summerside, P.E.I.) chipped in with three assists for Canada. Liam Hickey (St. John’s, N.L.) had the other goal.
Looking to avenge their lone loss of the preliminary round, the Canadians struck first just past the 12-minute mark when Bowden worked his way down low before roofing a shot past U.S. goaltender Steve Cash from in tight.
Hickey doubled the advantage only 55 seconds later, letting go a hard shot from the slot that found its way under Cash for a 2-0 Canadian lead after the first period.
McGregor took over in the second, striking twice in a span of 13 seconds midway through the middle frame to give Canada even more breathing room.
He finished off a pretty passing play at 8:42, with Bridges and Bowden earning well-deserved assists, and picked up a loose puck off the ensuing face-off before bulling his way to the net and beating a sprawling Cash under the arm.
That would be more than enough offence for the Canadians, who kept the U.S. off the scoreboard until Nikko Landeros scored on a five-on-three power play with less than three minutes left.
Dominic Larocque (Quebec City, Que.) was terrific once again in the Canadian goal, turning away 12 of 13 American shots. He finished with four wins in five starts with a tournament-leading 0.60 goals-against average, .897 save percentage and three shutouts.
Adam Dixon (Midland, Ont.) was held off the scoresheet in the final, but finished as tournament co-leader with 18 points (four goals, 14 assists) in seven games, and was named Top Defencemen by the IPC directorate for his efforts.