Canada remain undefeated to set-up gold medal decider with the USA02.04.2016
The final of the first ever IPC Ice Sledge Hockey Pan Pacific Championships will be a repeat of last year’s world title decider between the USA and Canada.
Canada remained undefeated on Friday (1 April) the third day of the IPC Ice Sledge Hockey Pan Pacific Championships with a 3-0 win over Team Pan Pacific, whilst the USA trounced South Korea 8-0.
In the opening match of the day, Canada made a blistering start taking the lead after just 12 seconds. Greg Westlake opened the scoring latching onto a pass from Brad Bowden to make the best possible start.
The Canadians who beat Paralympic and world champions the USA on Wednesday dominated the first period outshooting their opponents 9-1. With 90 seconds of the opening period to go, Westlake doubled his side’s lead capping off a beautiful move which started with Tyler McGregor stripping his opponent of the puck, before circling the net and finding Westlake left alone in front.
The second period was goalless, but 1:19 into the final third Billy Bridges secured the win after picking up on a loose puck and firing home.
The Canadians ended the game with a 19-5 advantage in shots on goal and with their first shut-out win of the Championships.
On Saturday Canada will meet the USA in the gold medal match in a repeat of last year’s world title decider.
“It’s going to be a tough game,” said Westlake looking ahead to Saturday’s final. “Anybody who saw that first game against the US saw a real good hockey game. We were fortunate enough to win that one, but we have been on the other side of that as well many times. It’s not so much how you learn, it’s how prepared and how ready you got to be to show up and win that game.”
The USA bounced back from Wednesday’s defeat to Canada by trashing PyeongChang 2018 hosts South Korea.
Despite 10 shots on goal in the first period, the USA only managed to score one goal, Nikko Landeros giving the host nation the lead.
In the second period South Korea caved into the incessant US pressure conceding six goals without reply. Adam Page, Luke McDermott, Declan Farmer, Brody Roybal and Paul Schaus all found the net.
The rout was completed in the final period when Josh Pauls, who finished the game with two assists, scored the USA’s eighth goal to secure the biggest win of the tournament so far.
“It was a tough loss against Canada the other night,” said the USA’s Adam Page afterwards. “It was good to get back to our way of playing the game, connect on goals, just get back into the rhythm and play our style of hockey. It was good to get this big win.
“As soon as we started playing our style of the game, using our speed, our youth and making those quick passes and really taking the time to shoot the puck a lot more and get more chances on the net, everything started rolling and coming together.”
Before the USA and Canada meet in Saturday’s (2 April) gold medal match at 17:00 (EDT), South Korea will meet Team Pan Pacific in the bronze medal decider at 13:00 (EDT).
Complete results, along with livestream of the matches, can be found at the event webpage.