Canada, USA, Norway and Japan played in the semi-finals of the 2009 IPC Ice Sledge Hockey World Championships yesterday in Ostrava (Czech Republic).
The first semi-final was played between World and Paralympic Champion Canada and the USA. Canada had defeated the USA several times during this year and thus were considered the favourite of this game. Even though Canada controlled the first period, they did not manage to score. Only two minutes into the second period, Adam Page scored for team USA, who thereafter demonstrated strong defensive skills. The Canadian players increased the pressure in the third period and less then two minutes before the end they managed to tie the game. No goals were scored in overtime. In the following penalty shoot-out, team USA scored one more goal and advanced to the final.
In the second semi-final Norway faced Japan. Japan dominated the first two periods, but were unable to score. Then Norwegian player Rolf Einar Pedersen stepped in and scored two crucial goals. “It was a pretty tight game all the way. Both teams had plenty of chances. The Japanese are very fast and skillful but we managed to win it," said the best player of the semifinal game.
Japan and Canada will play for the bronze medal on Saturday, at 15:30 CET. Norway and the USA will play the final on Saturday as well, at 19:00 CET. Both games will be streamed live on ParalympicSport.TV, the IPC’s internet TV channel. The gold medal game will also be broadcasted live on Czech Television.