Canada, USA, continue build towards showdown

Nothing to separate reigning champions Canada and Paralympic champions USA at World Sledge Hockey Challenge as they both take wins on Monday (2 February). 03 Feb 2015
Josh Pauls, Brody Roybal and Declan Farmer

The first line of Josh Pauls, Brody Roybal and Declan Farmer were all on target

ⒸHockey Canada
By Hockey Canada

Canada and the USA both continued their excellent form at the 2015 World Sledge Hockey Challenge in Leduc, Canada, which previews the 2015 IPC Ice Sledge Hockey World Championships A-Pool and B-Pool.

Canada v Russia: 2-0

Corbin Watson stopped all 17 shots he faced, backstopping Canada’s national sledge team to a 2-0 win over Russia.

The win keeps Canada perfect and sets up a first-place showdown with the United States in Wednesday (4 February) night’s preliminary round finale at the Leduc Recreation Centre.

Greg Westlake and Marc Dorion had the goals for Canada, which repelled a hard-working Russian side that was looking for its first win ever over the Canadians.

The goaltenders shone in a scoreless first period; Watson and Russian netminder Vladimir Kamentsev combined for 14 saves in the opening 15 minutes, helping the game reach the first intermission with no goal.

The No. 2 and No. 3 all-time scorers for Canada combined to open the scoring midway through the second.

Brad Bowden carried the puck behind the net before slipping a pretty backhand feed into the slot to Westlake, who snapped a shot past Kamentsev.

Bowden now has 259 points (103-156—259) in 172 Team Canada games, one point ahead of Westlake (129-129—258), who has played 18 fewer games in red and white.

Watson was at his best in the second period, making more than half of his 17 saves in the middle frame. Just seconds after the Canadians killed a Russian power play – during which a puck beat Watson, but not the post – Dorion jammed in a loose puck off a Ben Delaney scoring chance with 3:11 to go to give Canada a little bit of breathing room.

Kamentsev went to the bench in the final minute as the Russians pushed to get on the board, but the Paralympic silver medallists could not manage another shot on goal.

USA v South Korea: 8-1

Kevin McKee opened the scoring just 22 seconds in and the US offence rolled from there as they hammered South Korea 8-1.

The USA stayed perfect and set up a potential first-place showdown with Canada on Wednesday.

Brody Roybal and Josh Pauls scored two goals apiece for the USA, and Adam Page, Declan Farmer and Daniel McCoy did the rest of the offensive damage.

Pauls finished with two goals and an assist, while McKee and Farmer had a goal and two helpers each.

Ju-Seung Lee scored the South Koreans’ first goal of the tournament on a third-period power play.

McKee did not take long to get the US on the board, taking a cross-ice feed from Farmer, corralling a bouncing puck and beating a sprawling Man-Gyun Yu just seconds after the opening face-off.

Roybal doubled the lead at 9:08 of the first, snapping a shot past Yu on a USA power play, and made it 3-0 at 3:17 of the second, going to the left hand from in close to beat the South Korean netminder.

The US advantage was four after two periods thanks to Page, who was left alone in the slot to beat Yu.

Pauls took over early in the third; the veteran raced into the South Korean zone and snuck a quick shot under Yu just 21 seconds into the final frame, and lofted a shot from the blue-line that eluded the netminder only 52 seconds later.

Lee broke the US shutout bid at 3:52, roofing a shot over Kyle Huckaby, who had replaced Steve Cash in the US goal late in the second period.

But the US added two more late; Farmer banged in a rebound at 8:00, and McCoy converted a power play opportunity with just 1:57 left to round out the scoring.

The USA controlled the play from start to finish, holding South Korea to only seven shots on goal.

An all-North American showdown is next for the US, who face Canada on Wednesday night (7 pm MT), while the South Koreans will take on Russia beforehand in their preliminary round finale (12pm MT).

The gold medal game will air on TSN/RDS, the official broadcasters of Hockey Canada.

Games can also be followed at and

The 2015 IPC Ice Sledge Hockey World Championships A-Pool will feature reigning champions Canada, the USA, Russia, Italy, Germany, the Czech Republic, Norway and Japan, in Buffalo, New York, USA.

The B-Pool equivalent runs from 15-21 March and will feature South Korea, Great Britain, Slovakia, Poland, newly qualified Austria and the host nation Sweden.