IPC Ice Sledge Hockey A Pool World Championships
25 March - 3 April

USA Wins Thriller and Korea Shocks Norway to Open Worlds

On the first day of the Ice Sledge Hockey World Championships, USA edged Estonia in a shootout, Korea beat Norway and the Czech Republic and Canada were also victorious. 26 Mar 2012
Taylor Lipsett

Taylor Lipsett takes a shot against Estonia on Sunday (25 March).

ⒸTaylor Lipsett

In the day’s third game, Korea shocked hosts Norway with a 4-1 victory after coming out very strong in the first period.

There was certainly plenty of drama on the first day of the 2012 International Paralympic Committee (IPC) Ice Sledge Hockey World Championships on Sunday (25 March), as USA, Korea, Czech Republic and Canada were all victorious in Hamar, Norway.

The day began with a thrilling match between USA and Estonia, as the Americans escaped with a 2-1 victory in a shootout.

Estonia’s Kaido Kalm scored in the second period, and USA’s Nikko Landeros netted a shot in the third to knot up the game at one goal apiece, forcing the extra period.

Americans Adam Page and Taylor Chace both had shots on goal in the five-minute overtime, yet neither made it past goalie Valeri Falkenberg, who finished the game with 19 saves.

Each team put forward three players for the shootout, and USA’s Taylor Lipsett was the only one able to find the net, giving the reigning Paralympic and world champions the win in the event opener.

Despite the close result, USA outshot Estonia, 21-6, as Jen Lee and Steve Cash split the goalkeeping duties for the winning squad.

Czech goalie Michal Vapenka was stellar in the net in the second game, helping his team to a 2-0 victory over the Japanese – the silver medallists from the Vancouver 2010 Paralympic Winter Games. Vapenka saved all 15 shots made on goal in the game.

Zdenek Safranek and Zdenek Krupicka both scored for the Czech Republic in the final period to end what had been a nail-biting contest and give the Czechs a huge boost of momentum heading into their matchup against USA on Monday (25 March).

In the day’s third game, Korea shocked hosts Norway with a 4-1 victory after coming out very strong in the first period.

Jong Kyung Lee scored just 49 seconds into the contest on an assist from Min Su Han, and then Seung Hwan Jung found the net just five minutes later to give the Koreans the quick edge.

Norway could not muster enough offense to make a comeback, as Helge Bjornstad’s power-play goal in the second frame was its lone score of the game.

Byeong Seok Cho and Jung each scored in the final period – both assisted by Lee – to pad Korea’s lead.

Man Gyun Yu manned the net for Korea, saving 12 of 13 shots – six of those from Norwegian veteran Eskil Hagen.

In the nightcap, Canada edged the 2011 European champions, Italy, 3-1, as Billy Bridges notched two goals and Brad Bowden added another for the tournament favourites.

Italy's Valerio Corvino actually scored first in the game, just six minutes in, but Canada's Benoit St-Amand outplayed Santio Stillitano in the net, only allowing one of 18 shots to enter the net all night.

Play continues on Monday (26 March), beginning with the Japan-Estonia game at 08:00. The Czech Republic will then take on USA, Korea will challenge Canada and Norway will face Italy.

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