December 7, 2013, TORONTO, Ont. (ISN) – Canada’s National Sledge Team has won the gold medal at the 2013 World Sledge Hockey Challenge, beating the United States 3-1 in Saturday night’s gold medal game at the MasterCard Centre for Hockey Excellence.
It is the fifth time Canada has won gold at the tournament; it also took home the top prize in November 2011 in Calgary, Alta., April 2011 in London, Ont., 2008 in Charlottetown, P.E.I., and 2007 in Kelowna, B.C., in addition to claiming the silver medal in 2009 in Charlottetown and last year in Calgary.
On Saturday night, Billy Bridges (Summerside, P.E.I.) and Greg Westlake (Oakville, Ont.) scored goals 32 seconds apart and added an assist each in a three-goal first period, as the Canadians did all of their scoring in a span of 3:52 of the opening frame. Adam Dixon (Midland, Ont.) had the other goal for Canada, while Brad Bowden (Orton, Ont.) added two assists.
Canada finished first in the preliminary round with a perfect 3-0 record, including wins over Korea (5-2), Russia (5-3) and the U.S. (4-1). The Americans came second at 2-1, followed by Russia (1-2) and Korea (0-3).
Earlier Saturday, Evgeny Petrov scored the winner with just 1:11 to go as Russia earned the bronze medal with a 4-2 win over Korea. Dmitriy Lisov had two goals, and Alexey Amosov added one for the Russians who, like the Koreans, were making their World Sledge Hockey Challenge debut this year.
The tournament is the last major international event before the 2014 Paralympic Winter Games, which will be held March 7-16 in Sochi, Russia.