Italy to play Canada in Torino semifinals

South Korea will also face Norway for a shot at the overall win of the Torino Para Ice Hockey International Tournament in Italy. 02 Mar 2017
Three Para ice hockey players on ice talking to each other

Italy defeated South Korea to face Canada in the semifinals of the Torino Para Ice Hockey International Tournament

ⒸGabriele Merlin
By Sportdipiu and IPC

Hosts Italy will play Canada and Norway will face South Korea in the semifinals of the Torino Para Ice Hockey International Tournament on Friday (3 March).

Italy overcame South Korea in overtime on Wednesday (1 March) to decide their match-up.

With two scoreless first periods, both teams netted two goals each in the third.

Italy opened proceedings courtesy of Nils Larch, but he was swiftly followed by lighting quick South Korean forward Seung Hwan Jung who levelled the score.

Ju Seung Lee then took the lead for the visitors, but Italian captain Gianluca Cavaliere subsequently surprised goaltender Jae Woong Lee.

With the draw fixed at full-time, the Italians took advantage of a power play in overtime as Larch powered the puck into the South Korean net with just 48 seconds left.

Gabriele Araudo was named player of the match for Italy after several decisive saves, cheered on by hundreds of local school children.

Cavaliere said: "We knew that today would be an intense match because Korea fielded fast players and were well prepared physically.

"It was a balanced challenge, we approached the match with the right intensity and mentality, we created many chances and it was a shame to have conceded a goal just after taking the lead.

“However we reacted very positively after going 2-1 down. Overtime allowed us to play a few more minutes at a fast pace and put a little pressure on South Korea. It was a good workout ahead of the World Championships in April.

“As for the tournament we are growing game by game. Too bad for the debut on Monday against Norway, where we paid the price for not finding our rhythm, while things went much better yesterday against Canada. Now we have a day's rest, to recharge and be ready to give everything in the semifinals."

Canada v Norway (3-0, 3-1, 3-0)

Canada won their match 9-1 over Norway. A strong performance by the Canadians saw Ben Delaney and Tyler McGregor score twice, whilst Corbyn Smith, Adam Dixon, Rob Armstrong, James Gemmell and captain Greg Westlake also found the net.

Emil Soerheim took Norway’s lone goal, the only player to score against Canada at the tournament so far.

Friday, 3 March

10am: semi-final 1 (with Italy)

3pm: semi-final 2

Saturday, 4 March

10am: final 1

1pm: final 2

The Torino International Para Ice Hockey Tournament is one of the last tests before the 2017 World Para Ice Hockey Championships in Gangneung, South Korea, from 11-20 April.

The World Championships will see the top five teams qualify for PyeongChang 2018, with the rest going on to the Qualification Tournament later in 2017.

World and Paralympic champions the USA, Worlds silver medallists Canada, Norway, Italy, Germany, South Korea and Sweden are expected to compete.