Three teams remain undefeated in Goyang

Canada, Czech Republic and the USA have all won their first two games at the 2013 IPC Ice Sledge Hockey World Championships A-Pool. 14 Apr 2013
Greg Westlake

Greg Westlake has been Canada's ice sledge hockey leader in the lead-up to Sochi 2014.


In a hotly tipped Group-B matchup, Canada came out on top against Russia with a 4-3 victory.

Canada, the Czech Republic and the USA are all on the verge on qualifying for the Sochi 2014 Paralympic Winter Games after starting their World Championship campaigns with two wins apiece.

All three teams won their games on Sunday (14 April) on the second day of action at the 2013 IPC Ice Sledge Hockey World Championships A-Pool in Goyang, Korea, but Sochi 2014 qualification spots will not be officially announced until after group play concludes.

The top five finishers at the Championships automatically move on to the Winter Paralympic Games.

In Group A on Sunday, the USA showed why they’re the defending Paralympic and world champions, defeating Norway 7-0 in dominating fashion behind four scores from 21-year-old forward Josh Pauls.

It was actually Taylor Chace and Declan Farmer who opened up the scoring surge with the Americans, each scoring in the opening period to put them up 2-0 early.

All four goals by Pauls came in the second period, with two of them assisted by Farmer, one by Nikko Landeros and one by Tyler Carron.

“This was the best career game I’ve had,” Pauls said. “I’ve never scored four goals in a single game before. I’m not really even a scorer.

“It wasn’t just me, though, my linesman were giving me great passes and we were just really rolling as a team.”

Norway, meanwhile, only managed seven shots on goal in the game, compared to 23 by the USA.

Despite a low-scoring 1-0 affair in favor of the Czechs in Group A’s other game, the winning team seemed to easily put away Sweden on the ice, outplaying them with their physicality and speed.

Forward Jiri Berger scored the lone goal of the game for the Czech Republic at the 28:39 mark in the second period, as both teams had 13 shots on the net during the entire contest.

Michal Vapenka recorded the shoutout in the net for the Czechs with 10 saves, as Rasmus Lundgren had a team-high four shots on goal for Sweden.

The Czech Republic’s highly touted final group game this week will pit them against the undefeated American squad.

“We are not tired yet and we still have a lot of energy left in us for this tournament,” Beger said.

“We surprised the USA last year at the World Championships and beat them, so I think we hurt their confidence a little bit and that could play to our advantage this year.”

In a hotly tipped Group-B matchup, Canada came out on top against Russia with a 4-3 victory.

Veteran Brad Bowden started the scoring for the Canadians, finding the net just 3:48 into the game, and then captain Greg Westlake scored nearly two minutes later to put them up 2-0 early.

Bowden, along with Billy Bridges, each notched goals shortly after that in the first period to give Canada the 4-0 edge.

Russia finally made headway as Dmitry Lisov scored once late in the first and then early in the third to close the gap to 4-2. Ilia Volkova was able to knock one past Canadian goaltender Benoit St-Amand as well, but not until just 19 seconds were left in the game and it was already too late.

Bowden, named Player of the Game, said he will take the next Championship matches one at a time and is not yet looking ahead to a potential semi-final matchup against the USA or the Czech Republic.

In the day’s final game in Group B, Italy upset host nation Korea in front of a vocal local Goyang crowd. It was Italy’s first win of the tournament, with their goals coming from defenseman Gianluigi Rosa and forward Andrea Chiarotti.

Dong-Shin Jang had the lone score for the home team, who have yet to win a game at the Championships thus far.

Teams now have a day off before resuming play for the final slate of group games on Tuesday (16 April).

Next up, Italy will face Russia at 10:45 on Tuesday, followed by Korea against Canada at 14:00, a game that will be showcased live on Korean broadcaster KBS.

Then Norway will take on Sweden at 17:00 and the USA will face off against the Czech Republic at 20:00.

All games are being streamed live on the IPC's YouTube channel,

For more information on the Championships, please visit the 2013 IPC Ice Sledge Hockey World Championships A-Pool website

You can also follow the action on Twitter @IPCISH and on the ice sledge hockey Facebook page

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