“We will play in a building sold out with the presence of hundreds of school kids. It is a match within our reach and we hope to win also for all those who come to see us."
Canada took the lead at the top of the Torino 2015 ice sledge hockey international tournament table on Tuesday (9 December), with a 5-1 win over hosts Italy at the Palatazzoli arena.
South Korea also beat Norway 5-4 in a closely fought game.
Canada - Italy 5-1 (2-0 2-1 1-0)
After a great victory on Monday (7 December) against Norway, the Italian national team succumbed to a strong and comprehensive Canadian side.
The tone of the game was clear from the start, with Canada pushing from the puck drop and creating many chances on goal to challenge Italian goaltender Santino Stillitano.
Eventually James Gemmel opened the scoring in the ninth minute followed by Adam Dixon with thirty seconds to the siren.
Despite a 2-0 deficit, Italy entered the second half with determination, and after another decisive save from Stillitano halved the deficit via captain Andrea Chiarotti, assisted by Florian Planker.
The Italians grew in confidence and came close to scoring a further two times. However the 2015 IPC Ice Sledge Hockey World Championships A-Pool silver medallists scored two more courtesy of Dixon and in the power play with Bryan Sholomicki.
Billy Bridges concluded the scoring in the third to bring Canada’s total to five.
Chiarotti commented: "It was a good performance for us. Canada were stronger, as shown by the score, but also we have had several occasions and at times we played on a par.
“We made a few mistakes and they punished us with their great team, but by smoothing out some things we can play to the end. The trial today gives us confidence ahead of the clash against South Korea.”
On Italy’s chances of getting to the first-place play-off on Saturday (12 December) Chiarotti said: “We will play in a building sold out with the presence of hundreds of school kids. It is a match within our reach and we hope to win also for all those who come to see us."
South Korea - Norway 5-4 (2-3 2-0 0-1 1-0)
Goals and emotions characterised the second match of the day between Norway and South Korea.
In the first period South Korea scored twice via Seung Hwan Jung and Woo Chul Park. But they were caught by Norway with goals from Loyd Remi Solberg and Rolf Pedersen and went ahead with less than one minute to go after Emil Sorheim found the net.
Seung Hwan Jung and Kim Young Sung scored in the second period to bring South Korea’s score to 4.
In the final phases of the match Martin Hamre dramatically sealed the equalizer to take the match to overtime. South Korean captain Jong Kyung Lee was the player who saw his team to victory.
The final day of round robin play takes place on Wednesday (9 December). Italy will get to test their mettle against South Korea who are newly promoted to the A-Pool for 2015-16.
Canada v Norway concludes the action on the Wednesday before players can enjoy a well-deserved break before the next matches on Friday (11 December) and Saturday (12 December).
Al matches are being streamed live at IPC Ice Sledge Hockey’s website courtesy of Italian broadcaster Rai.
Entrance to all games, is free to spectators, and a full schedule can be viewed at Sportdipiu’s website.